A survey conducted by Bradford Chamber of Commerce has shows that businesses in the city are exceptional sceptical about HS2, with only 5% or respondents thinking it will come in on budget and only 27% feelling that there is a good case for building HS2.
Respondents to the survey saw completely through the spin being used to justify HS2, with information coming out of the summary of responses including:
They do not believe the business case put forward expounding the benefits, and would much prefer the money budgeted for the project to be allocated to other transport schemes (including rail) that will provide clearer advantages and improvements.
Other schemes, e.g. trans-Pennine services, electrification of northern connections, airport links, would offer better value-for-money and offer wider benefits to more businesses and people across the country.
It is stressed by many that passengers numbers/journeys on long-distance travel is reducing, not increasing, and so the validity and need for HS2 is questioned. Rapidly-changing technology and high travel cost suggest that long-distance travel volumes will continue to fall in the future.
Although it is acknowledged that more rail capacity is needed, it is clear to many businesses that this scheme is not the best option to address that. The additional capacity needed on trains is mostly required on local commuter journeys, not long-distance travel.
Companies also feared that budget costs will spiral out of control due to the extremely long time-frame set out for project completion. The power station needed to provide energy to HS2 has also not been included in the costs yet.
HS2 is disconnected from much of the rest of the UK rail network. The scheme has gone from promoting speed as the key benefit, to capacity. Little or nothing has been said about connectivity. The HS2 line and stations remains isolated from most other cities, junctions and stations and so full benefit of such a big scheme is not maximised.
Most survey respondents believe the benefits of HS2 will be to London and the south-east. Potential investment in Yorkshire will be diverted to the south. Benefit-cost ratio diminishes the further south from Leeds that you travel.
Many businesses believe that the politicians backing HS2 are misguided and should urgently reconsider their support.
Paul Mackie, Bradford Chamber President, said:
“The findings show that Bradford businesses are deeply sceptical about the HS2 proposal.”
“As the line is not set to come to Bradford anyway, it is probably to be expected that support here is lower than in places like Sheffield and Leeds; but the divide between support and opposition is so wide that we feel that, even if the scheme were to come to Bradford, there would still be many doubts that this is the best value-for-money project for the rail network.
“Businesses want to see investment in transport improvements. Whether that’s infrastructure for capacity and connectivity, services to improve point-to-point links, or other specific measures to ease congestion.
“However many see this scheme as either too expensive, providing benefits mainly to London, or they challenge the business case being used to defend HS2. It’s time to go back to the drawing board and think again.”
The people who are running HS2 have not considered the long term consequences of building this line over areas which have been heavily mined over the past generations. There will be sink holes and land slips throughout these areas in time due to the weight of both the trains and structure but more importantly the vibration, which will be higher and more continuous than anything previously experienced (the vibration will be more intense because of the relatively narrow gauge of the tracks), will accelerate the settlement and collapse of the underground workings. There are workings which are not shown on any maps or in any archives, no-one knows where they are – a future disaster waiting to happen. The individuals who are pushing for this have no idea of the ultimate consequences but do they care? Of course not, they would have taken their money and will continue their champagne lifestyle.
We are a small country with a very proud industrial background, unlike France and Spain we cannot avoid the hazards created by our past, they have the vast areas of land untouched by mining activities, the UK doesn’t .
Comment by hs2 is weather resilient is not the case. Summer hot weather will lead to track buckling. The winds and storms will remove cantenaries from pantographs. Snow and ice will cause reduced speeds. The reply to sensible concerns about hs2 route runoff increasing standing water along the route was spun into an illogical ruse about weather resilience. Engineering without precedence is plunging to new depths with silly spin by hs2 spokesperson.
Our village is built on a flood plane hs2 answer is to put hs2 on viaducts so there rich customers can see the floods without getting there feet wet and wave to the nimbys as they go by and as for Hamond he speaks as if his got hs2 up his arse the man as no idea
It’s good to Bradford bussiness can see through all the spin ,The big question is when will our MPs see the sense and put a stop to hs2 money eating machine