The government should be investing in future thinking transports like Hyperloop as technology on High Speed 2 (HS2) will be out of date by the time it is built, a leading economist has said.
Speaking in The Times, Policy North president David Harrison has called on the government to ditch HS2 and start to invest in new technologies.
“The government must stop trying to deliver our future transport infrastructure with technology that will already be outdated by the time HS2 is operational,” said Harrison.
The pace of development on the experimental Hyperloop technology has been rapid. Within five years of the idea being mooted by magnate Elon Musk, companies such as Hyperloop One are already full scale testing the new technology involved in the ultrafast mode of transport.
With speeds of up to 970km/h, it has been claimed that it could be a step change in the way people travel long distances.
Nine routes across Europe, including three in the UK have already been proposed by Hyperloop One. The company said the 666km North - South connector route from Edinburgh to London would take around 50 minutes, and the 1060km long Scotland to Wales route starting in Glasgow and calling at Edinburgh, Newcastle, Nottingham, Cambridge London and Oxford before terminating in Cardiff has been put at just 89 minutes.
Harrison said the new infrastructure could make jobs in London accessible to people living hundreds of miles away. This, he said, would “challenge the north-south divide and create a more balanced spread of wealth across the country”.
“Workers would no longer need to move to London to access the best-paying opportunities — only to have the benefits of those positions wiped out by the soaring cost of living there,” he said. “Similarly, businesses could locate to the north of England where there is plenty of space.”