ASI: Don’t Railroad it Through

Don't Railroad it through Adam Smith Institute

The Adam Smith Institute have just published its latest paper “Don’t Railroad it Through: Rethinking HS2”.  The paper says that the UK Government should rethink the HS2 project – and sets out a number of alternatives to save time, save money, and deliver an improved service for rail passengers.

In particular, the report looks at the benefit cost ratio and and says HS2 risks being a massive black hole for taxpayer money with virtually nothing to show for it returning just 78 pence of value for every £1 of taxpayers’ money spent.

Saying that “it is obvious that with the hugely escalating costs the current model is already dead in the water”, the paper looks at some of the ways rail passengers will lose put if HS2 is built and at alternative improvements that are better than the vastly expensive over budget HS2, including upgrading existing routes with new signalling, doubling the number of tracks, reopening mothballed lines, and timetable redesigns.

Other recommendations include upgrading stations in London, Birmingham and Manchester and improved train facilities like wifi, seat quality, and charging points to improve passenger experience.

Reacting to the report, Penny Gaines, chair of Stop HS2, said
“HS2 was set up with a narrow remit based on outdated assumptions.   This is another report that destroys the case for HS2.  There are cheaper more environmentally friendly alternatives that will deliver benefits better and faster than HS2.  It’s time the Government went back to the drawing board and scrapped HS2 entirely.”

Joe Rukin, campaign manager for Stop HS2, said
“It’s been clear from the outset that HS2 will never deliver on the grossly overinflated promises to justify building it.  It’s time the Government acknowledged this and cancelled HS2.”

For more information see the Adam Smith Institute website and the report can be downloaded here.

2 comments to “ASI: Don’t Railroad it Through”
  1. I live just outside Great Missenden, HS2 Ltd. is proposing cutting down trees on the main approach road, together with widening the road. It is rumoured that the work will start on Monday 21st November. The Council has tried to get the work stopped at least until the Review into HS2 has taken place. As usual with HS2 nothing has been thought through, the works are scheduled to take 19 weeks, traffic is already being diverted at great inconvenience, but HS2 Ltd. are not bothered, despite the damage that is likely to be done to local businesses which are likely to suffer,…..but no concern of HS2 Ltd.,they just carry on regardless.
    Typical, but sadly that may indicate the southern section of the HS2 nonsense is going to get the go-ahead on the basis of the money already spent. Yes, but the southerly section is estimated to cost virtually the whole of the original budget of £55.7bn, for the whole scheme, so if it does get stopped that may save £45bn.!
    The police are already involved, however,the way things are going, it is not difficult to imagine civil unrest to bring greater attention to this ridiculous scheme. There is so much opposition, why don’t the politicians listen?

  2. The Oakervee Review is looking at the financial costs v benefits of this awful project but no where does it bring environmental costs v benefits in to the equation and how scrapping HS2 would benefit the climate, bio-diversity, countryside and communities. Neither does it appear to be truthful about just how negatively impactful this project will be on the climate crisis and wildlife losses.

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