The Department for Transport responded to HS2 Action Alliance’s 13 February letter about legal action by quoting figures to suggest HS2 delivers £4 of benefit for every additional £1 spent.
This is misleading.
The DfT’s January 2012 business case makes absolutely clear that HS2 delivers just £1.40 benefit for every £1 subsidy for London to West Midlands phase, and £1.6 to £1.9 for the full Y.
According to Bruce Weston, from HS2AA, “This is of course before using the latest economic and rail demand forecast tools – which DfT say wipes £0.5 off these figures ie the £1.4 drops to just 90 pence benefit for every £1 spent. These are not our figures, they are DfT’s.
“Even this is based on DfT still assuming that every minute of time spent on board is wasted – which they now admit is not true. Adjust for that, which accounts for more than 50% of the scheme’s benefits, and any shred of a business case has evaporated”
“DfT are choosing to ignore the alternative of uprating WCML that is three times better value for money, again according to their own numbers. It produces £5.17 benefit for every £1 subsidy and more than meets the DfT long distance rail demand forecast. Even Network Rail did not contest this” he added.
At a time when UK are facing further pressure on Government spending HS2 is the wrong priority and makes no economic sense.