HS2 delivers economic growth

  • HS2 is essential for regeneration and job creation, as well as improving Britain’s international competitiveness – all of which bring higher levels of economic productivity and growth.
  • HS2 can transform Midlands and Northern cities by effectively bringing them ‘closer’ to each other. This will make it easier for businesses (and people) to interact across city and regional boundaries. HS2 will also help distribute economic activity more evenly across the country by regenerating the Midlands and the North.
  • The project already employs around 30,000 people, the majority of which are employed in UK companies and in the UK-based SME supply chains. Were HS2 to be cancelled, the job losses would be calamitous, and a missed opportunity to train and upskill the next generation of young people in engineering, design, ecology.
  • Continued dither and delay are costing the UK taxpayer hundreds of millions of pounds. There have been three scope changes in three years – each of which add to the total project cost whilst reducing the benefits. Further changes would add more cost and uncertainty.

HS2 delivers levelling-up

  • Britain suffers from huge regional economic imbalances, with productivity in London some 40-50% greater than in the North of the country. Better transport infrastructure delivered by HS2 will help tackle this.
  • The transport benefits of HS2 go to dozens more towns and cities than simply those on the line of route. If the scheme is built in full as originally planned, there are 73 locations that could benefit from HS2’s released capacity, including 54 stations which are not served directly by HS2 trains directly, but which could have more commuter and local services as inter-city trains switch to the new line.
  • HS2 will free up space on the existing rail network for 144 extra freight trains per day, taking over 2.5 million extra lorries’ worth of cargo off the road and putting it onto the railway every year.
  • HS2 will deliver shared infrastructure for Northern Powerhouse Rail, acting as the backbone for NPR’s east-to-west services, making HS2 the first phase of NPR, as a fully integrated scheme.

HS2 delivers net zero

  • Transport has the highest carbon emissions of any sector in the UK. A new north-south net zero railway is essential to decarbonise long-distance inter-city travel.
  • The full construction of HS2 will emit the same carbon emissions as just six weeks road transport; and then be zero emissions in operation, according to a comparison between existing road transport emissions data and projected HS2 emissions data.

The choice now is a white elephant HS2 (Acton to Aston), or a proper scheme that delivers for Britain

  • HS2 is too late to cancel. The section from London to Birmingham is years into construction and billions have already been spent. Tunnels have been dug, bridges built, homes demolished and earthworks cut.
  • A rump of a railway from Old Oak Common to Birmingham would be a national embarrassment, with no better journey times from central London to central Birmingham than we have today.
  • The choice is between that white elephant and the proper HS2 scheme from Euston to Manchester, where it would connect onto the existing network onto Scotland; and to the East Midlands where it would also connect onto the existing network to go further north.