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High Speed 2 'not thought through properly'

The proposed high-speed train route between Birmingham and London, High Speed 2 (HS2) was not assessed properly and will not benefit the environment or businesses, MPs have been told.

And no money exists to pay for the Government’s multibillion-pound railway project, the costs of which may reach £34bn, Stop HS2 convener Joe Rukin told the Commons Transport Committee.

The project, in fact, would be “a massive, massive gamble”, he added.

Appearing before the committee earlier, HS2 chief executive Alison Munro insisted the new railway line would benefit Birmingham as well as London.

Rukin however said the line would need to run through some beautiful areas of southern England and was likely to benefit London more than Birmingham.

He said: “There is no business case, no environmental case and no money for HS2. The more we find out (about) the project, the worse it seems to be.”

Stephen Joseph, chief executive of the Campaign for Better Transport, told MPs that there was a danger of “big projectitis” taking over in transport at the expense of smaller schemes.

Matthew Farrow, the CBI’s transport head, said his organisation supported HS2, particularly as there were problems with overcrowding on the London to Scotland West Coast Main Line.

Readers' comments (2)

  • julian Hartless

    Chiltern Rail are upgrading their line to Birmingham. This could easliy be included for a highspeed route by widening where possible.

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  • If the Business case is stronger for the sections between Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester, I've never understood why the scheme has to start with the least cost effective section from London. Those who study Railway history will be aware that
    this was the way the network was created, with revenue income supporting capital investment. Am I missing something?
    Adrian Millward

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