After a comprehensive survey of their member the Institute of Directors have decided that HS2 is “Not worth the money” and that it is a “Grand folly”, with Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors calling on the government to abandon HS2. In a survey, that just 27 per cent feel the high-speed rail project represents good value for money and 70 per cent say the scheme will have no impact on the productivity of their business. While the HS2 business model replies on no-one ever working on trains, 94% of IoD members said they do work on trains.
This news follows hot on the heels from Sir Anthony Bamford, the chairman of JCB, warning that HS2 could drain funds from other vital transport schemes needed to boost economic growth, and the CBI suspending support for HS2 (though todays press throws confusion on whether they are sticking with that position) because of increased costs for the projects.
Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors said:
“Businesses up and down the country know value for money when they see it, and our research shows that they don’t see it in the government’s case for HS2. Overall there appears to be little enthusiasm amongst IoD members, not even in the regions where the benefits are supposed to be strongest. Indeed, our research shows that almost every region expects London to benefit the most.”
“The IoD cannot support the government’s current economic case for HS2 when so many of our members are doubtful of the benefits. We agree with the need for key infrastructure spending, but the business case for HS2 simply is not there. The money would be far better spent elsewhere and in a way that will benefit much more of the country. Investment in the West and East Coast main lines combined with a variety of other infrastructure projects would be a far more sensible option.”
“It is time for the government to look at a thousand smaller projects instead of falling for one grand folly.”
Stop HS2 campaign manager Joe Rukin said:
“The IoD are another independent organisation in a very long line of groups which, if the Governments claims about HS2 stood up to scrutiny, would be supporting HS2, but they are not because the entire case for HS2 has been completely fabricated. It doesn’t matter if you are looking at economic activity, regional growth, environmental impacts or even the last argument standing about capacity, none of the arguments for HS2 stack up. This Whitehall Elephant has to be stopped before it tramples across our future. Whichever argument you look at, there is simply no case for HS2, but we have politicians of all hues not interested in the facts.”