The Institute of Economic Affairs *(IEA) *has dismissed George Osborne's idea of a new high-speed rail network for the North, calling it a "costly vanity project".
“The relatively short distances between northern cities mean high-speed rail is an expensive and inefficient way of linking them. Because northern conurbations are spread out geographically and include numerous different towns, high-speed trains between the largest city centres would make little difference to door-to-door journey times for a high proportion of travellers.
“The Chancellor should focus on smaller-scale schemes that deliver high returns for the taxpayer or, better still, that can be financed privately, rather than concocting a headline-grabbing vanity project to attract votes.
“Not content with wasting tens of billions on the loss-making HS2 scheme, George Osborne is now threatening to compound the error by forcing taxpayers to fund HS3.”
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