Stop Hs2 has been saying since last October that whatever HS2 does for the north south divide (70% of the jobs created will be in London), it’s going to have a disasterous effect on other regions of the UK.
And at last, this is also getting reported in those regions.
Take Wales. Mark Barry of the Cardiff Business Partnership, gave evidence at the Transport Select Committee last week. He told them about the report from KPMG, which showed that HS2 would cost Wales 21,000 jobs.
If we want to modernise Britain’s railway network, then full electrification to Swansea is a higher priority.
Similar, the South West of England will lose out. ‘This is Plymouth’ reports “Greengauge21 and accountancy giants KPMG calculated that as a result of HS2, the South West would have 48,000 fewer jobs by 2040, 0.04 per cent lower annual growth, while the average wage would be £1,400 lower”.
And Exeter City Council, in their evidence to the Transport Select Committee wrote “the high speed rail network described (the Y network) is not a ‘national’ high speed rail network, despite being described as such in the DfT’s Consultation Document.”
It can’t be right, and certainly isn’t fair, to deal with the north south divide by taking jobs, and investment, from the poorest areas.
If the priority is to tackle the north south divide, the Government should be looking at a package of measures designed to create jobs in the regions. Instead they want to spend £33 billion on a fast train that joins just four cities, so fat cats can get to London slightly quicker.
PS If you want to Stop HS2, why not use the form here to help you write to your MP?