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NIC chair claims HS2 needs £43bn extra funding

Hs2 high speed 2 birmingham interchange visual 3to2

Transport projects around the country need an additional £43bn more funding by 2040 to be able to realise the benefits of High Speed 2 (HS2), National Infrastructure Commission chair Sir John Armitt has said.

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, Armitt said HS2 was the most significant investment in capacity for a generation, but once people reached the end of their HS2 journey, many onward public transport connections would be inadequate and they would face congestion on the roads.

He said the cash was needed to maximise the benefit of the new high speed line.

“We cannot simply construct a new high speed rail line and leave it at that,” Armitt wrote. “Alongside investment in rail links across the country, we need to better fund improvements to transport within our cities.”

He said the funding should be in addition to that for the proposed Northern Powerhouse Rail project and Crossrail 2.

The chair went on to say that the funding was “not an unaffordable pipe dream”.

“In developing the National Infrastructure Assessment (NIA) we ensured all our proposals, including those for our cities, are deliverable within the government’s remit for 1.2% of GDP being invested in infrastructure.

“That’s meant tough decisions and trade-offs – but we believe this is the best way to help tackle the long-standing issue of congestion in our cities. And it’s the best way to make the most of all that HS2 will have to offer.”

The first NIA was published in July and examined how to best meet the country’s infrastructure needs up to 2050 and across a range of sectors including transport, energy, digital technology, flood risk management, waste and water supplies.

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