Northern Powerhouse

12.07.19

HSRIL warn scrapping HS2 could cost thousands of jobs

A significant report published yesterday claims that completing HS2 is essential for “smashing the UK’s north-south divide” and warns that scrapping the project could cost thousands of jobs.

High Speed Rail Industry Leaders (HSRIL) have launched the robust defence of HS2 in an attempt to convince sceptics about the benefits of the project.

It comes at a time when leading government figures are expressing doubt over the future of HS2, and there are talk of abandoning the scheme in favour of Northern Powerhouse Rail (HS3).

9,000 people are currently working on the project, with tens of thousands more people set to join the workforce.

The 54-page report argues that the project will deliver improved rail services to more towns and cities than is generally realised.

Jim Steer, HSRIL director, said: “Britain is today a divided country with alarming and unjust disparities in wealth and opportunity between our cities and regions.

“As confidence grows in the project as a whole, a rich pattern of private sector investment and new job opportunities, with higher productivity will follow.

“This report shows beyond question that HS2 is a great way to bring this country back together, with dozens of towns and cities set to benefit, even ones that will never see a HS2 train.

“HS2 must be delivered in full. The evidence is overwhelming. There is no Plan B for tackling the north-south transport divide.”

The group’s research also argues that HS2 if cost effective, amounting to less than 0.4% of public spending, the same as the freeze on fuel duty.

The report has been submitted to the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review by the Treasury in a bid to continue full government support for the project.

(Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Images)

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