Curious Railway Announcement

The Government has today announced its plans to extend Phase 1 of HS2 to Crewe-which has been dubbed Phase 2a.

The announcement seems designed to cover the fact that the full route to Leeds and Manchester cannot be finalised, despite the consultation on the proposed route completing almost two years ago.

The justification in the Government’s announcement for the extension to Crewe is hardly a masterpiece of argument.

Our economy is shifting towards knowledge based industries and we expect 40 per cent of the jobs created between 2012 and 2022 to be in knowledge based sectors, such as financial and professional services, information technology and advanced manufacturing. We know that people working in these sectors tend to travel more by rail 

So no assessment of how many people in these sectors need to travel from Birmingham to Crewe, nor any assessment of how this extension to HS2 might compare against other potential travel projects. Should we be surprised?

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