HS2 project condemned by MPs

The latest news on plans to build a High Speed Rail link between London and the Midlands.

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Further alternatives to HS2 according to think-tank*

£4.5 billion - could introduce superfast fibre optic broadband across the country, which would boost business, reduce pressure on transport and protect British infrastructure.

£2 billion - to make cities outside London better for cycling and walking.

HS2 is the largest transport investment in the UK's history. At the moment it amounts to a £33 billion gamble.Our research shows the Government is backing the wrong horse. Instead of pouring billions of pounds into a single line that will take 20 years to complete we should be spreading our bets on a wider range of transport investments that offer better value for money.

– David Theiss, New Economics Foundation researcher

The Government says HS2 is needed to boost transport capacity and make the country a more prosperous place.

  • The New Economics Foundation argues that demand for HS2 has been 'over-estimated'.

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Think-tank alternatives to HS2

Think-tank has proposed alternatives to HS2 Credit: ITV News Central

£10 billion - could change rail infrastructure in northern England and the Midlands, creating new and faster east-west rail links, redeveloping stations and electrifying regional rail lines.

£10 billion - could be used on the East and West Coast main lines, increasing the speed, capacity and reliability of north-south rail travel with less environmental damage than HS2.

£6 billion - could upgrade mass transport in Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool, including investments in large light rail schemes and bus networks.

Claims HS2 demand is 'overestimated'

Claims HS2 demand is 'overestimated' Credit: ITV News Central

The demand for HS2 has 'likely been overestimated' and the £33 billion project does not offer value for money - according to a report out today.

The New Economics Foundation says evidence that the rail line, which will run through the Midlands, will promote economic growth or tackle the north-south divide, is limited.

The report also claims the line will be 'carbon intensive and environmentally damaging', and recommends the money earmarked for the project be spent elsewhere, ideally on transport systems away from the Capital.

The Government is firmly backing plans for the route which it says will boost the economy and is needed for the country to remain competitive.

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Department for Transport statement on HS2 High Court appeal

Ahead of tomorrow's High Court appeal by the HS2 Action Alliance, the Department for Transport issued the following statement.

"The High Court was firm in dismissing these challenges and the Government will continue to defend any challenge in the Court of Appeal. It is unfortunate but inevitable that opponents of HS2 will do what ever they can to delay the Government's plans, but the Government remains committed to delivering HS2 as quickly as possible."

– Department for Transport
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