The decision to go ahead with HS2 is “highly unlikely to transform the North”

Responding to the news that the Government is set to approve the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail project, Dr Richard Wellings, the IEA’s Head of Transport said:

“The decision to go ahead with HS2 is deeply disappointing. 

“With the predicted costs ballooning to £106 billion, the costs are now likely to exceed the benefits. And the project is highly unlikely to transform the North in the ways that have been promised.

“Investment in alternative schemes – such as incremental improvements to existing infrastructure in northern towns and cities – would deliver far larger economic gains.

“The additional announcement of £5 billion spending on buses and cycle routes is another poor use of taxpayers’ money. Many bus services outside London are already running almost empty and the new ones are unlikely to attract enough passengers to be economically viable.”

Notes to editors

For media enquiries please contact Emily Carver, Media Manager: 020 7799 8920 or 07715 942731

For IEA reading on HS2, click here and here.

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 and seeks to provide analysis in order to improve the public understanding of economics.

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

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