HS2AA Responds to Announcement of Route of Phase 2 of HS2

28th January 2013 – Responding to today’s much delayed announcement of the route for phase two of HS2, HS2 Action Alliance said the justification for HS2 is pure political spin: the facts simply don’t support it.

It won’t deliver jobs and growth. The idea that such projects bring jobs and growth was dismissed by 34 leading transport planners and economists (some of whom advised on HS2) only last week. And its jobs now, not in 2033, that the UK needs.

It’s not value for money. The assertion that the Y route delivers £2.50 for every £1 of subsidy has been totally discredited. Apply up to date figures, the latest assumptions and DfT’s own guidelines and the case collapses – producing less than 50p back for every £1 spent on subsidy.

But the costs are real. . Now that the Y route has been announced we expect thousands more tax payers to join the campaign against this eye-wateringly expensive project, which has no business case; will cause irreparable environmental damage, and for which there are better, cheaper and greener alternatives. It is a waste of £33bn.

It’s not needed for capacity: Everyone now knows the Virgin trains on the WCML are only half full even in peak. Only HS1 is less busy. Improving the existing line is a quicker and risk free solution that meets even their exaggerated projections of demand.

It blights homes. Many thousands of residents will find their lives ruined overnight by the blight on their properties and communities. They will find that successive Secretaries of State were insincere when promising ”generous compensation”. The reality is most will get nothing.

Hilary Wharf added ”Looking past the spin, HS2 is a bad deal for Britain. It doesn’t matter if you are in the north or south, it’s a bad deal from every perspective”.

All quotes attributable to Hilary Wharf, Director, HS2AA