Why it’s time to think again

High Speed 2 is a flawed Government plan to build a new high speed rail line linking London, the West Midlands, Leeds and Manchester. The total construction cost of the entire project is estimated at £42.6 billion, plus another £8 billion for rolling stock – an unprecedented level of expenditure for a single project ever proposed by a British Government in peacetime. If you agree HS2 is not in the national interest please join us today.

    HS2 will be a huge waste of money

    The Government’s own figures show that returns for Phase 1 (London to West Midlands) have fallen from £2.40 for every £1 of public money spent to £1.40. Comparable figures for the entire network have fallen from £4 to £1.90 for every £1 spent.

    But even these figures are suspect – key assumptions on demand, pricing, financing costs and other savings have been manipulated to exaggerate the case for HS2.


    The Secretary of State for Transport, the Prime Minister and the vested interests pushing HS2 insist a new line is required to provide additional long distance rail capacity. They claim that without HS2 our railways will become “full”.

    But the facts are different. The West Coast Main Line is one of our least crowded mainline services and most of its trains have just been lengthened to provide even more seats. Even the most aggressive forecasts for future demand can be met by improving existing lines and worst of all, HS2 does little to address the real problem of overcrowding on commuter lines in London, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Glasgow.

    HS2 will be an environmental catastrophe

    HS2 will have a devastating impact on wildlife and some of our most precious landscapes and ecosystems. Over 130 protected wildlife sites are impacted by Phase 1 alone.

    The new line would also increase carbon emissions – with official figures showing few passengers transferring from road (8%) or air (3%) to rail, and instead many new journeys being created.

    HS2 creates few jobs and is London-centric

    Creating jobs is crucial to the British economy and its recovery – but HS2 is not the answer. Official figures confirm the project will create few jobs and those which are created will overwhelmingly be based in London.

    The benefits for London are likely to be magnified given the route choice of HS2, which will not permit journeys between our great Northern cities. HS2 will not be an option for direct travel between Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle, but will instead encourage trips to London.

The scheme’s backers claim HS2 is a “done deal” – but this is far from correct. A broad coalition of economic, environmental and other groups, plus thousands of people who have come together as registered supporters of HS2AA, are fighting to make the case against HS2. To join us, sign up here.