Questions and Answers :
Q1) Is there a cost/benefit case which ‘holds water’ for spending £90bn on a single high speed rail line connection between Birmingham and London ?
HS2 is the most expensive high speed rail project in existence, costing 10 times the equivalent on the continent. By any sensible measure it is abysmal value for money.
Q2) Will building it bring economic benefits to the region ?
While it’s being built of course there will be some economic benefits. Whenever you spend tens of billions of pounds on new infrastructure it will inevitably stimulate the local economy while you’re doing it.
Q3) Is HS2 the best way to spend tens of billions of tax payers money ?
Very clearly this huge amount of money would be far better employed on making significant improvements to existing road and rail networks across the West Midlands. We would be able to add considerable capacity to both.
Q4) Will HS2 attract companies to the region ?
But how many more would come here if our existing road and rail networks simply operated far better than they do currently ?
Q5) Will HS2 reduce overcrowding at peak times between Birmingham New Street and Euston ?
– Slightly. Maybe.
There will be an increase in overall capacity between the two, but existing services to Euston will be cut by at least a third, as a third of Euston is being allocated/converted to HS2. Plus price of using HS2 may well be prohibitive and unaffordable for many.
Q6) Will HS2 provide benefits across the region ?
– Extremely doubtful.
If you live very close to the Curzon street terminal in Birmingham your journey time to central London will be reduced by a significant percentage. Or, as a new addition to London’s commuter belt, you will be able to sell your house for considerably more than at present. If you live in the Black Country the benefits will be very small, if any.
(A three hour journey… getting into Birmingham, then over to Curzon Street, then taking HS2 to Euston, then on to a tube to where you want to go in London… will be reduced down to two hours and forty minutes… “Whoo Hoo !”)
Q7) How much damage to the environment will HS2 cause ?
HS2 will tear up rural England.
More than 100 of Britain’s most important wildlife habitats and dozens of ancient woodlands will be directly affected by the proposed high-speed rail link between London and the North.
Official documents also disclose that hundreds of acres of green-belt land will be lost and more than 1,000 buildings are to be demolished.
Q8) Will HS2 ‘rebalance’ / ‘underpin’ the economy, as the government’s and the West Mids Combined Authority’s Strategic Economic Plan suggests ?
– No. No. No. One high speed rail line … seriously ?
Published and promoted by Pete Durnell, of 18 Farm Avenue, Oldbury, West Midlands B68 8PW Tel 07736 935181
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