IEA publish ‘The most scathing independent analysis of HS2 so far’.

A report published by the Institute of Economic Affairs has been described by the Stop HS2 campaign as ‘the most scathing Independent analysis of HS2 so far.’ In the report In the report “The High-Speed Gravy Train: Special Interests, Transport Policy and Government Spending”, the IEA claim the overall bill for HS2, currently officially standing at £50.1bn, will be closer to the £80bn, echoing fears previously expressed by London Mayor, Boris Johnson.

The report also argues that £80bn spent instead on upgrading other road and rail infrastructure would produce £320bn of economic benefits. More than £30bn of extra costs are likely to come from areas including additional roads and infrastructure to service the new line and changes to the route to buy off local opposition.

Richard Wellings, the report’s author said:

“The evidence is now overwhelming that this will be unbelievably costly to the taxpayer while delivering incredibly poor value for money. It’s shameful that at a time of such financial difficulty for many families, the government is caving in to lobbying from businesses, local councils and self-interested politicians more concerned with winning votes than governing in the national interest.”

Joe Rukin, the campaign manager of the StopHS2 group said:

“The IEA’s study as the most hard-hitting attack on the project by an independent group so far. The crescendo of opposition to this project is just getting louder and louder and the Government is still not listening. The Public Accounts Committee, the National Audit Office and now the Institute of Economic Affairs have all raised concerns, and they are part of a long list of economist, rail experts and environmentalists who all say HS2 is the case for HS2 simply does not exist. These aren’t bodies with an axe to grind – they’re serious people acting in what they see as the best interests of the country.”

“We’ve long suspected that the only people pushing for this vanity project are those with vested interests. The IEA report is clear, that councils and chambers of commerce in cities which will get stations, along with the firms which will get billions of pounds from building HS2, are the only ones lobbying for HS2, and they are spending serious money doing that lobbying.”

“The Government is insane if it thinks HS2 will win votes in the North. Polling has shown that the more people find out about HS2, the stronger opposition gets. Against the rhetoric of austerity, how could anyone seriously argue for spending £50bn on official estimates on a train line which will only benefit the richest in society is the right thing to do? Even if HS2 was a sensible proposition it would be the wrong thing at the wrong time, but given it is clearly a white elephant vanity project which would do nothing but increase debt and suck more economic activity to London, it is a disgrace that it is still on the agenda. All HS2 has got going for it is political momentum and politicians too vain to admit they have got this wrong.”

7 comments to “IEA publish ‘The most scathing independent analysis of HS2 so far’.”
  1. IThink if the budget went over 200 billion this govenment would just.carry on with this mad project the big problem I see they will carry on with the first leg then stop at Birmingham .when they have spent 43 billion and call it a day .The PM should be man enough to now call it a project we have looked at and believe it is to costly in the current time and have no plans to carry on in the future with this idea and let the 500k of people get there lives back on track

  2. The problem with contemporary democratic representation is highlighted by this extra-ordianary paen to the pseudo-democracy and patronisation of the electorate that seeming contemporary professional politics represents.

    We need look no further than ‘justifications’ such as this as to why the reasoned arguments against HS2 have been so unsuccessful in Parliament whilst holding such logic and power in themselves and to academics and independent professional bodies.

    This is not a spoof. This is not satire. It is from ‘Con Home’ and explains much as to why we are living in a ursatz ‘elected’ totalitarian state.
    For anyone used to 60’s 70s notions of ‘people power’ and liberalization this is the answer to you sense of disbelief.

    Andrew Lilico: MPs are not “employed by voters to listen to voters’ concerns”

    The argument advanced in this article is so flawed and neo-fascist (whilst feigning democracy) I have to admit I was rendered truly shocked (even gob-smacked to use a vernacular never before employed in relation to my psyche)
    My instinct is to emotionally deny the article “this is not the UK etc…” however, living experience and deep flaws (conundrums even) in political process have me considering that those in political authority indeed use such rationales as Lilco expounds.

    It explains much that is perceived but ignores the electorate’s anger and frustration and indeed self determining autonomy.

    The proposed ‘HS2’ scar in the Chilltern’s and English ‘Heartland’ may prove to be a future Jarrow March, a national loss that prevents even worse future abuses.
    After all HS2 ‘only’ represents the cynical abuse and asset stripping of of 500,000 people and an unparalleled ecological nightmare, however, we can see now more clearly this scheme has been politically plotted and effected.
    It relied on creating fictitious haves and have nots and false propaganda to support these divisive claims. A government pitting the country against itself. Now that is a character of several diverse yet perverse political schema and regimes. Divide and Rule -an old maxim.

    What more is planned and where must be the next question?. HS2 is the tip of a socio-political iceberg that is chilling in its ramifications in respect of contemporary democracy and centralized social control and targeted demographic social and financial abuse of defenseless yet asset holding sectors of society. Postcode lottery and totally unfair redistribution of wealth without proper planning or real consultation and with no real legal redress. ( the consultation by HS2 ltd on behalf of itself cannot be considered valid esp. as they did not respond meaningfully as to the findings of the same consultation, indeed their response was perverse to the findings of the consultations.

    That is the testament and witness of most recorded HS2 victims on record to date. Many more will follow.

    Brave New World?

  3. The increasing cost of this must surely kill the project eventually.
    All the lobbying efforts should focus on the cost; MP’s won’t be able to defend it to the electorate and the government will have to cave in before the election in 2015.

  4. Saira Khan was excellent on today’s Wright Stuff on channel 5 and articulated the alternative vision so well that it should be compulsory viewing for all MPs

  5. Have long thought negatively about the project chiefly through reason of how many lives will be ruined. Above all it is extremely unkind to just about everyone along the proposed route. However the best way forward for the ‘NO’ campaign is to think of a SERIOUS alternative which MUST be costed sensibly but accurately. No alternative is simply not an option. With no well researched replacement – H2S2 will go ahead.

    • There is a serious alternative, but in reality we do not need the ultra high speed rail links justified by the ever changing reasons put forward by Cameron and his buddies.
      If you ‘could’ justify a high sped rail system for this country, which is very difficult to do, then Maglev is a mile in front of the current crackpot HS2 scheme. Have a look at and download the UK Ultraspeed business case.

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