“When the facts change, I change my mind”
John Maynard Keynes
An open letter to MPs and policymakers of all parties.
Why the UK doesn’t need HS2
Our views are representative of a sizeable proportion of the electorate, and we are writing to you now because we believe now is the time to drop HS2 from all political commitments.
Now the country is free from the EU bureaucrats’ dream of a European rail transport network, we can enter an election focussed on what will make the UK more competitive. It is the perfect opportunity to rethink HS2.
Here are just some of the reasons why you and your party should do so.
It is yesterday’s transport solution The business case for HS2 is founded on valuing future journey-time savings. This: - represents pre-internet thinking. People now make fewer business trips and travel shorter distances on business - ignores the fact that people work on trains - overlooks the transport revolution led by self-driving cars: increasing the capacity of existing roads, shortening journey times, eliminating the rail advantage. People will also be able to work in self-driving cars!
HS2 has been sold to the electorate on a false prospectus • Far from benefiting the North, it will increase the grip of London on the economy – enabling closure of Northern offices in favour of serving the North from London • Britain has no high-speed rail industry, so HS2
will largely create foreign – not UK – jobs • The HS2 business case assumes high train frequencies and high speeds. Both are incompatible with technology available when construction is planned to start – this year! • The most pressing railway issue is 173,000 passengers forced to stand on commuter trains during the morning peak. HS2 does not address this in any way. • HS2 does not represent an opportunity for the UK to “catch up with the rest of the world.” We have long had fast, frequent inter-city rail services, and the distances between our major cities are too small for higher speed rail to be required
Britain can’t afford to waste
£££ billions on HS2 • HS2’s supporters claim too much has already been spent to turn back. Yet not an inch of track has been laid. The money has largely been spent on consultants. Why throw good money after bad? • BREXIT offers an opportunity to improve Britain’s competitiveness. Let’s not squander it on white elephant projects! • Some commentators predict the real cost of HS2 is likely to top £100bn – twice the official figure. HS2 is simply unaffordable. • HS2 is a vanity project. It will suck-up funds which would be far better spent on projects the electorate really wants: improving the NHS, building and improving schools, increasing broadband speeds.
The UK does not need HS2. The electorate does not want HS2.
The right decision for your manifesto is clear: