HS3: A costly vanity project


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Dr Richard Wellings sheds doubt on HS3

Commenting on George Osborne’s proposals to build a third high-speed rail link, Dr Richard Wellings, Deputy Editorial Director and Head of Transport at the Institute of Economic Affairs said:

“The relatively short distances between northern cities mean that high-speed rail is an expensive and inefficient way of linking them together. 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 be focusing 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 designed 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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Notes to editors:

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.