City AM features IEA comment

The second phase of the £33bn High Speed Two (HS2) railway will be unveiled by the government this morning, with communities learning whether they will be affected by the twin lines from Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester.

But the government is braced for furious attacks from people who fear their homes and businesses will be blighted and by economists who believe the costs are greater than the benefits and that other projects make more economic sense. Phase one is timetabled to open in 2026, with the second stage following in 2032.

“The government is deluded if it thinks HS2 will regenerate the North. The region’s long-term economic problems will not be solved by faster rail links to London,” said Dr Richard Wellings of the IEA think tank.

“Towns such as Doncaster already enjoy fast links, but remain among the poorest places in the country. HS2 will be used as an excuse to waste billions more on flawed regeneration schemes in northern cities, at further expense to taxpayers.”

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