The hidden benefits of Britain’s new railway are vast. The only problem is they’re hidden
In recent months there has been no shortage of ill-thought through articles in the British press urging the cancellation of High Speed 2, a transport project aiming to better connect London, Birmingham, the East Midlands, Leeds and Manchester by rail.
However, such articles discuss HS2 without grappling with the real reasons all the main political parties support its construction and professional transport managers consider it excellent value for money. Despite all the negativity, HS2 remains an attractive prospect.
Two critics – the TaxPayers’ Alliance and Liz Truss, Chief Secretary to the Treasury – take a dim view of HS2 because they believe the money could be better spent elsewhere in the UK (or not spent at all). Others, however, see HS2 precisely as a means of pump-priming British industry during its construction. In addition to using British materials and workforce, the project calls for the building of new trains in either northern England or Scotland and giving developers massive new opportunities in North London, the West Midlands and North England. These opportunities will also take the strain off London, by making it easier to live and work outside the pressure pot of London and the South East.