House of Lords Committee Report
Ahead of this afternoon’s debate on HS2 we thought you might like to know that the influential House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee has this morning published its long awaited report on HS2.
The report is highly critical of the HS2 project and concludes that “The construction of High Speed 2-a railway estimated to cost £50 billion-will be one of the most expensive infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the UK. The Government has yet t…o make a convincing case for proceeding with the project”
The report sets out in detail numerous concerns with HS2, including a failure to properly assess alternatives and a reliance on “inconsistent and out of date” evidence to calculate potential benefits from HS2. The report tackles head on the two central justifications put forward by the Government for the project.
On capacity, despite hearing from HS2 insiders – Network Rail, HS2 Ltd and the Department for Transport – the Committee say the scale of the capacity problem “is unclear” and the published rail usage statistics “do not suggest that there is an overcrowding problem on long distance trains – either now or in the near future”.
On rebalancing the economy, the Committee say that “evidence and experience suggests London will be the biggest beneficiary of the project”. Transport projects in the North and Midlands are more likely to create economic benefits there, but the Government has not considered whether these might be a better approach than HS2.
Remember, if you haven’t done so already, please make sure you ask your MP to attend this afternoon’s debate and highlight to them the findings set out in this House of Lords Report.