Latest Rail News

27.08.13

Directors label HS2 ‘grand folly’

Only 27% of directors believe HS2 will prove value for money, the Institute of Directors has found. It’s the latest in a string of criticisms of the project, following comments by the Institute of Economic Affairs and former transport secretary Alistair Darling.

A survey of 1,300 members of the IoD raised concerns that HS2 will benefit London more than the regions, and 70% thought the route would have no impact on their businesses.

The IoD contended a Government claim that HS2 would increase economic productivity by reducing commutes, with 48% of members stating that they worked for at least half of their train journey.

Legislation for HS2 is set to be introduced this year, with construction of Phase one beginning in 2017.

IoD director general Simon Walker said: “Station upgrades, inter-city improvements, tunnels, electrification and capacity improvements should all be considered alternatives. It is time for the Government to look at a thousand smaller projects instead of falling for one grand folly.

“Some of the specific claims that the government has used to support its economic case for the project have been challenged by our members, who by and large do not feel that their business will benefit.”

But a Department for Transport spokeswoman said: “We need to build HS2 to free up valuable space for passengers and freight because without it, our existing rail network will be full by the mid-2020s at a cost to passengers and businesses up and down country.

“The scheme is forecast to generate more than £50bn of benefits for the economy but we know we must maximise every economic benefit HS2 has to offer.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Image c. HS2 Ltd

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

Rail industry Focus

  • 11/09/2019The next generation of rail infrastructure

    How the rail industry delivers the next generation of complex infrastructure will rely heavily on the people tasked with leading the projects, and the technology they use to do it. Faithful+Gould...
  • 11/09/2019Putting passengers first

    How does the rail industry design the railways for the next 40 years, and when it does, how do we make sure it’s all done with the passenger in mind? Jane Fisher joined three members of the Arup team...
View all News

Comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

'the sleepers' blog

Connecting Network Rail with the supply chain

17/09/2019Connecting Network Rail with the supply chain

Continuing our mission to connect buyers with suppliers, This year TransCityRail North is adding a new element to the event. We are introducing an incomparable opportunity for you to meet with over 11 procurement directors from Network Rail... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

Interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

24/06/2019Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

Ahead of his appearance, Malcolm Holmes spoke with Rail Technology Magazine about what key leaders in the industry were doing to improve rail in the Midlands. He said: “It’s very... more >