Is The HS2 rail project worth it?
20th August 2013
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The Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) has recently said that the budget for HS2 could rise to over £80bn. This is almost double the previous figure of £42bn.

So which of these two figures is closest to the mark and is there a point when it becomes economically unviable to proceed with the project?

Supporters of the project say that it is vital to invest in our rail infrastructure and that as a nation we lag somewhat behind our international counterparts in both investment and forward planning. They predict that the new rail link will improve communication throughout the country, encourage investment both nationally and regionally and be a boost to the economy for years to come providing thousands of jobs.

Opponents to HS2 point to the fact that the investment figures keep increasing and that there will be no economic benefits to regions outside of London, not to mention the environmental costs and the great many number of people who will be affected both by having the line run near them or having their homes flattened to make way for the project.

Whether HS2 goes ahead or not one thing is certain - in a time of economic austerity any public investment should be used wisely and to benefit the country as a whole and not just a few with vested interests. 

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Paul & Dawn W

Member since: 10th July 2012

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