HS2 is a planned high-speed railway proposed to offer alternative destinations including Lille, Brussels, Paris, London and potentially the central belt of Scotland. In January last year the plan was given the go ahead by government with an additional £500 million extra to spent on tunnels as to appease those protesting the project. The project is expected to cost £32 billion and be ready in 2026.
On the one hand, people are saying that HS2 is perfect for the 21st century significantly increasing capacity, strengthening connectivity between our city regions and boosting the economy long-term. Steve Hayter, chairman of the institute of civil engineers, commented that “a robust and effective high-speed railway that achieves environmental and economic aims must have the very strongest commitment and support, both politically and financially”.
However, it seems the majority of public opinion is in favour of StopHS2. Jerry Marshall, the chairman of AGAHST (Action Groups Against High Speed Two), is firmly against proceeding with the project commenting on it as “a disaster waiting to happen”. She slated the ex-secretary of state for Transport, Justine Greening, for not taking enough consideration of the plans. The government said they had plans to ameliorate environmental damage after the project was complete, but the issue is that this will not be possible because the spare money will now be spent on creating the tunnels.
What are your views on HS2 and is the scheme just a boondoggle (a waste of money)?
Thanks for reading,