No convincing case for HS2, says House of Lords Committee

Lords Economic Affairs Committee says Department for Transport has not made case for why High Speed 2 more 'cost-effective' than alternatives


By Sebastian Whale

25 Mar 2015

The government has yet to make a convincing argument for why the HS2 project is necessary, a report by a House of Lords Committee has said.

The Lords Economic Affairs Committee said there were less expensive options, such as better trans-Pennine links, that could solve the shortage of capacity on railways than the £50bn high-speed line.

“The Government have not carried out a proper assessment of whether alternative ways of increasing capacity are more cost-effective than HS2,” committee chairman Lord Hollick said.
The report also said that the project did not rebalance the economy as it would benefit London more than the Midlands or the north.

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MPs will have the opportunity to debate HS2 today in a Westminster Hall debate led by former Cabinet minister Cheryl Gillan.

Gillan, the MP for Chesham & Amersham and an outspoken critic of the project, has written for CSW's sister site PoliticsHome ahead of the debate and described HS2 as “highly destructive, extortionately expensive”.

“Currently, the proposed line for HS2 will not yield the benefits it pledges. The business case remains weak, connectivity inadequate... and  the costs to the taxpayer are gargantuan,” she writes. 



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