CENTRE FOR CITIES REPORT: HS2 WILL BE THE LINE TO NOWHERE.

HS2 ACTION ALLIANCE

COMMENT

 

January 27, 2014.

 

CENTRE FOR CITIES REPORT: HS2 WILL BE THE LINE TO NOWHERE.

 

Richard Houghton, a director of HS2 Action Alliance, the biggest national campaign against HS2, commenting on the Centre for Cities report which says London is creating ten times as many new jobs as anywhere else, said:

 

“The Centre for Cities Report will undoubtedly have the pro-HS2 lobby saying the proposed service is crucial to revitalising the regions, but they are screamingly wrong. HS2 will be a line to nowhere. It will simply supercharge the jobs drain towards London.

 

“Professor Peter Mackie of The University of Leeds’ Institute for Transport Studies has said London would be the main benefitting region.

 

“Both government and Labour Party alike should wake up and see HS2 is going to fuel London growth. HS2 will simply suck more talent and jobs to the South East; given the current growth rate of the capital compared to anywhere else, that belief is strengthened. The fact is that London’s lights are far brighter, its prospects far bigger, and the momentum of its economy far stronger.

 

“The only way a regional city will make any headway against the hugely powerful London-centric economic tide is to engage in massive investment. It is crucial that both the government and the Labour Party reconsider. £60 billion – the likely cost of HS2 – could transform several major cities.

 

“There is not a city in the country that can compete with London as a destination for entertainment, shopping, lifestyle, culture – all crucial factors in determining where somebody takes a job.

 

“But a crucial finding of the Centre for Cities Report is that young single people who move to London for work tend to get partners and families and stay in the South East within commuting distance of London. This will simply compound the issue of 120,000 people standing on commuter trains into the capital every day.

 

“People who live the London lifestyle will simply not up sticks and move to cities that can’t currently compare.

 

“Ask any city whether it would like a railway line to draw away its talent, or to have a slice of the HS2 budget to create a multi-billion pound investment to draw in business and jobs, then every one of them would take the money and invest in making their city more attractive.”

 

“You don’t have to travel far to see the evidence, and the future: the TGV line led to the relocation of business headquarters from Lyon to Paris to such an extent that journeys from Lyon to Paris have increased more than from Paris to Lyon.”

 

“London is a must-have-presence location for corporates, and is established not just as a local, regional and national draw for talent, but an international draw.  The UK is probably more capital-centric than any other nation in Europe, and that doesn’t change by opening a new railway.”

 

Many academics have said HS2 benefits have been overstated: http://www.hs2actionalliance.org/case-against-hs2/jobs-growth/evidence-overwhelming/

 

Ends

Further information:

 

Iain Macauley

im@pressrelations.co.uk

07788 978800

 

http://www.hs2actionalliance.org/