Business Group Say HS2 Would Be “One Grand Folly”

One of Britain’s leading business groups has delivered a strong message to those in Government who claim HS2 is essential for Britain’s future prosperity. The Institute of Directors surveyed its members earlier this month and the results of the survey of businesses across the country doesn’t make comfortable reading for those pushing HS2 as essential for our future prosperity.

The results of the survey saw:

  • 70% of those surveyed saying HS2 would have no impact on the productivity of their business.
  • Fewer than half (41%) rated HS2 as important to their business
  • Businesses across the country believed London would benefit most from HS2-this view was even held in those regions (the North West, Midlands and Yorkshire) which are due to have a connection to the new high speed network.

The Institute of Directors noted their members supported increased investment in other aspects of our road and rail network, which they believed to be more important than HS2.

Simon Walker, Director General of Institute of Directors concluded that “We agree with the need for key infrastructure spending, but the business case for HS2 simply is not there. The money would be far better spent elsewhere and in a way that will benefit much more of the country. Investment in the West and East Coast main lines combined with a variety of other infrastructure projects would be a far more sensible option. Station upgrades, inter-city improvements, tunnels, electrification and capacity improvements should all be considered alternatives . It is time for the Government to look at a thousand smaller projects instead of falling for one grand folly. Overall there appears to be little enthusiasm amongst IoD members, not even in the regions where the benefits are supposed to be strongest.”

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.

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