HS2: costing jobs, reducing growth

Before the government is plans to spend £33 billion – or more – on a single project, it should really ensure that the project is likely to achieve it’s aims.

Yesterday, in Parliament, the Queen said

“My Government will continue to invest in infrastructure to deliver jobs and growth for the economy.
Legislation will be introduced to enable the building of the ‘High Speed Two’ railway line, providing further opportunities for economic growth in many of Britain’s cities.”

However, HS2 will do the opposite. On Sunday, the Telegraph reported on a number of large job creation projects that have been put on hold because of HS2.

These plans include two large developments in London. Segro got planning permission to redevelop the old Guinness brewery site at Park Royal, but HS2 have now put in a ‘safeguarding order’ as they want to use the site to store materials.

Derwent London are unable to progress with a scheme near Euston: meanwhile HS2 Ltd have cancelled plans to redevelop Euston, when they realised it would take at least two years longer than they expected, and cost £500 million more.

Stop HS2 have been reporting on the Washwood Heath site in Birmingham since 2011. Birmingham MPs say the site could be used now for a scheme that will employ 7000 people and are fighting plans to use it for a HS2 maintenance yard which might employ 300 people in 2026.

HS2 is not just costing jobs now: it is highly likely that HS2 will increase regional disparity and suck jobs to London.

Newsnight, this week reported on the high speed rail line from Seville to Madrid and pointed out that it had not reduced regional disparities. Professor John Tomaney pointed out that capital cities gain the most from high speed rail.

Just like we’ve been reporting on the cost to jobs now, Stop HS2 have also frequently raised the issue that HS2 will make the regions worse off: for example Lessons from Spain and What is the regional impact of HS2 likely to be?.

And today, the Times reports that the Major Projects Authority has given HS2 a red rating: meaning it needs changes to get it through on time and to budget.

HS2: over budget and behind schedule, years before construction is due to start.

12 comments to “HS2: costing jobs, reducing growth”
  1. I am a typical person who lives along the route of hs2 .i my wife and I have worked all of our lives .looked after the pennies bought our own little home we still have a mortgage .we will work even longer because the govenment as told us to due to the pension changes and now we have just found out that our home is only worth what we owe due to where hs2 goes past our home .hs2 have said we are not due any compension for blight .how can this be right when our prime minster keeps saying he wants to reward and back hard working people if I had my time again I would have rented my home not got a job and when hs2 came along asked the council to move me to another place away from hs2 at their expense

    • @J.davis:”I am a typical person who lives along the route of hs2

      How far (distance in metres) from the approved Route3 pathway do you live and at what level (in relation to the general land topography) is the planned trackbed at its point of closest proximity to your house?”

      You don’t say but these factors are pivotal in determining your best course of action in response to HS2.

    • Be careful Mr Davis, PADAVidson is almost showing some sympathy. There are about 300,000 householders and your families (perhaps 1million people) currently feeling that you are on your own and being cast to the wolves.
      As there are about 60 million who are not affected to this degree and who think they might gain from the HS2 propaganda, it is easy for the promoters to label you a nimby: out to stop “progress” for your own selfish reasons, to the detriment of the majority.
      It is truly sickening that our “leaders” should be so callous in the way they have imposed their so-called plans on the nation and then try to blame the objectors as “the problem”.
      They know that it is not possible to pay proper compensation but just wish to get the dream steamrolling on and put off the day of reckoning for other “leaders” to deal with.
      HS2 should be stopped now, before it has to be stopped in its tracks

  2. I see in this mornings paper that a young boy dies due to the fact thre were no amberlance available due to austerity .yet we go on spending all this money on a project to get the rich about it disgusts me to live in a country that cuts everything for the poor and gives to the rich how can we afford hs2 and do we need it

    • Why is there a battle ?

      It’s probably because, quite reasonably, most English people don’t want innovation or disruption thrust upon them… they don’t want to have to look out at a wind farm .. they don’t want any gravel pits, or a quarry, a new reservoir or a domestic waste incinerator.
      They hate to think of a bypass road roaring past their house or garden- or of a fast new railway line slicing through their valley- especially if they cannot access a station.. nor do they care for any vast new housing developments for incoming strangers with no previous local connections; and certainly don’t want an electricity grid line with giant steel pylons striding across our hills …

      They- we- just want to be left alone to continue to enjoy what we have… together with a regular supply of clean water and efficient sewage disposal ,well out of sight,- a guaranteed and reliable electric power supply, all our domestic rubbish collected at least once (if not twice a week), immediate access to clear uncluttered (pothole free!) roads, with no jams or hold ups… enough reasonably priced housing for our immediate family to find a home fairly nearby..
      Oh yes , and with convenient local services,plus medical and emergency facilities within a few minutes’ call…

      .We want space to follow our interests, not too many noisy children or unsuitable neighbours -.and the chance to live our lives as we wish, and all without excessive local and national taxation or any bureaucratic interference in our affairs! .

      Surely that’s not too much to ask.

      • Far too much imposition and sham consultations
        No empathy for people who are treated like morons even though they foot the bills and are then treated like dirt so no wonder it takes so long to get anything done

  3. As PADAV will remind you, it’s not £33bn in one lump but a mere £2bn a year for 17 years – which is perfectly manageable when you have revenues of £500bn and are in the black. Of course, when you are in deficit by £100bn annually and having to finance a growing DEBT, it means you are in something called ”the red” and growing it by £2bn a year – plus interest – for an unnecessary “spontaneous buy” decision of an unelected outgoing minister. What’s £33bn in £1.5tn anyway? It’s about 6 months’ interest – or a drop in the ocean…..
    Even HS2/DfT admit that Phase 1 will need subsidy for some years while draining other main line services for ca. 60% of its passengers, turning otherwise profitable services into loss-makers.
    HS2 has already lopped the top deck from its flagship edifice to keep in budget. They’ll soon be looking elsewhere to cut corners: such as steeper banks to cuttings and embankments. The biggest corner up for grabs is the Knutsford Kurve. So, having blighted west East Cheshire, they might turn round and, as if in a gangster movie, say: “You guys have moaned too much – So now the East gets it!”

    • Mike, it’s not so much the case that HS2 will “soon be looking elsewhere to cut corners”; the HS2 Ltd engineers have already cut corners in many other places as the detailed design for Phase 1 has progressed. One technique that has been employed is a “salami slicing” increase in trackbed height, something which I comment on on my blog “A change of heart” at http://hs2andtheenvironment.wordpress.com/2013/04/18/a-change-of-heart. In that blog I mention that the trackbed in my parish is now up to five metres higher than at the time of the 2011 consultation. Well the latest design takes this up to over eight metres in the worst case; see what I mean about “salami slicing”.

  4. Well done M.Bankes if only the government would realise what they are doing to our country.They should be preserving the best things for future generations.those who have gone before who fought for this country will be turning in their graves.

  5. By M.Bankes on Weds 8 May 2013

    The Queen made a big mistake today
    HS2 is on it’s way
    what about nature roaming free?
    what about farmland and our trees?
    people’s houses crushed to bits
    all for show and politics!
    what do I know ?
    i’m just a kid

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