Scrapping High Speed 2 (HS2) would free up enough cash to fund 28 local and national transport projects, lobbying group TaxPayers’ Alliance has claimed.
The TaxPayers’ Alliance has published a list of 28 local and national transport infrastructure projects which it claims could be funded if the £55bn HS2 was scrapped in a report entitled The great British transport competition.
It was due to be published by former Brexit secretary and Conservative MP David Davis at a parliamentary reception today.
Schemes include a £5M scheme to rebuild Cullompton Railway Station in Devon, as well as additional funds for access roads to the £6.8bn Lower Thames Crossing scheme in London.
The report conlcudes that the total cost of the 28 mooted projects would cost £45.1bn, £10.6bn less than the current HS2 estimated cost of £55.7bn.
The electrification of the Midland Mainline between London St Pancras and Leeds, is also identified as a project which could benefit from additional funding, with the TaxPayers’ Alliance concluding that it would be an “important alternative” to HS2 “and far cheaper”.
The report states that the project could be carried out for £5bn over five years. The alliance claims it could be “potentially more useful than phase 2b of HS2” as could link the existing High Speed 1 line to the Channel Tunnel and mainland Europe.
Reopening the Stourbridge to Lichfield railway would also benefit from the TaxPayers’ Alliance proposal. The report states that the mothballed route could be “easily” cleared of undergrowth and a new track laid on the existing bed. Works could be carried out over five to 10 years for an estimated £120M.
“The case for scrapping High Speed 2 gets stronger by the day,” the report states. “Increasingly, people from across the political spectrum are waking up to the fundamental issues which have plagued this project.
“Whether it be the spiralling costs, environmental damage, consistent mismanagement or overwhelming unpopularity of the project, the tide is turning against HS2.”
The projects were chosen from a list of ideas submitted by members of the public in response to a competition set up by the Alliance.
They were selected by a panel made up of Tax Payers’ Alliance members and long standing HS2 opponents Lord Berkeley and MBPC Infrastructure managing director Michael Byng.
|The list in full||Cost||Timescale|
|A1 - Dual carriageway From Durham To Edinburgh||£1.3bn||10 to 15 years|
|Reopen the Skipton-Colne Railway Line||£100M||4 years|
|Reopen the Beverley to York railway||£300M||5 to 8 years|
|Ashington, Blyth and Tyne railway||£50M||3 to 4 years|
|Britain’s S-Bahn Network: Leeds||£1bn||5 to 6 years|
|Reopen the Keswick To Penrith railway||£110M||3 to 4 years|
|Upgrade the Settle and Carlisle railway||£30M||5 years|
|Reopen Blackburn to Hellifield||£15M||5 years|
|High Speed UK-North||£18.1bn||10 to 15 years|
|The Whitacre Link||£400M||5 to 8 years|
|Reopen Stourbridge to Lichfield||£120M||5 to 10 years|
|Upgrade the Rugby to Birmingham railway line||£1.5bn||5 to 15 years|
|Upgrade the A5 to Expressway Standard||£500M||3 to 5 years|
|Reopen the Sutton Park Line to Passengers||£100M||5 years|
|Chiltern Main Line electrification||£1bn||3 to 5 years|
|Midland Main Line electrification||£5bn||5 years|
|Improve the Felixstowe to Nuneaton freight route||£1.5bn||5 to 8 years|
|Reopen the March to Wisbech Line to passengers||£110M||4 to 5 years|
|A new station on the Bury St Edmunds to Ely line||£40M||3 to 5 years|
|Extend Crossrail to Stansted Airport and Cambridge||£4bn||4 years|
|Lower Thames Crossing||£6.8bn||6 years|
|Brighton Mainline 2: Sussex Phase||£500M||8 to 10 years|
|Improve connectivity to Bristol Temple Meads||£125M||5 years|
|Rebuild Cullompton Station||£15M||5 years|
|Exeter to Plymouth via Okehampton||£500M||5 to 8 years|
|Reopen the Bodmin to Wadebridge Railway line||£25M||3 to 5 years|
|Cross Cornwall rail link||£125M||3 to 5 years|
|Build cycle paths next to motorways and A-roads||£1.82bn||10 years|