Today, HS2 Ltd have published a new economic development study, entitled “Changing Britain: HS2 taking root”. The report is full of promises about what could be achieved in terms of jobs and economic growth if loads more money was spent, of course off the HS2 books.
Whilst the report is more than willing to say there will be new services on the existing lines due to ‘freeing up capacity’ (otherwise known as losing current rail services) and there could be 40 new freight trains taking 800 lorries off the road, all of this is completely speculative as the report states:
“At this stage, no decisions have been taken on the introduction of new services.”
In that respect, this report is a bit like when a couple would gamble and lose on Bullseye. David Higgins is effectively being Jim Bowen, wheeling out a speedboat saying “Just look at what you could have won”, and of course keeping quiet about the on decision that has been made about post-HS2 services, that the business plan requires £8.3bn worth of cuts to existing services.
Joe Rukin, Stop HS2 Campaign Manager responded:
“It is fitting that on Halloween, Government have magicked up phantom figures for a zombie project that will suck the life-blood out of the railways. Yet again, they have blown taxpayers money conjuring numbers which have no basis in reality, in another desperate attempt to bewitch the public into believing this colossal white elephant is a good idea. HS2 isn’t about jobs, it isn’t about regional growth, and it isn’t even about transport. HS2 is about one thing and one thing only, lining the pockets of the men behind the curtain, the contractors who have been lobbying for this demonic project since the outset.”