HS2AA condemns HS2 route announcement

20 December 2010– HS2 Action Alliance (HS2AA), the not for profit organisation challenging the case for HS2, condemns the route announcement made by the government today and reiterates the urgent need to re-examine the business case for this multi-billion pound project.

“The route changes announced today do nothing to improve the economics of HS2. Plans for HS2 have been based on a flawed business case. And it’s not just HS2 Action Alliance saying this but an independent study by FTI Consulting has confirmed that the business case for high speed rail is “over-stated, based on optimistic assumptions and exaggerated benefits”.

“This railway is not green, it will cost the taxpayer billions and the claim that it will solve the North South divide is unfounded.  Worse still, there are cheaper, greener, and more risk free alternatives of upgrading the existing rail infrastructurethat the Government refuse to debate,”explains Hilary Wharf, Director at HS2 Action Alliance.

The HS2 Action Alliance, has analysed the HS2 business case in detail, in a 44 page reportand identified six fatal flaws:

1: HS2 is not a sound investment – commercially HS2 is planned to lose money

2: HS2 will not deliver major wider economic regional benefits or transform the North

3: A new railway is not needed to solve the rail capacity problem – there are better and cheaper solutions including an alternative DfT developed.

4:  The UK does not need to catch up with Europe – it is actually ahead in terms of rail journey times

5: HS2 is not ‘green’ – it doesn’t fit as part of the low carbon economy, as it doesn’t reduce carbon emissions.

6: HS2 will not greatly reduce domestic air travel –   this market is already declining.

If you would like to talk to HS2 Action Alliance’s spokesperson Hilary Wharf please contact:

Richard Houghton

07803 178 037 or richardwhoughton@gmail.com