The key findings of the report outline that the projected costs of HS2 are rising and are likely to reach almost £90 billion of taxpayer’s money. It is also stated that the business case is flawed and it is unlikely that the project will be delivered on time.
With regards to the much vaunted Northern Powerhouse, the report states that HS2 is unlikely to develop the economy of the North of England and that other proposals provide greater value for money.
HSUK, an alternative high speed rail scheme proposed by experienced rail engineers Colin Elliff and Quentin Macdonald, will cost £21 billion less to build. Moreover, it will deliver hugely enhanced capacity and connectivity, vastly superior to that of HS2 and HS3, and will enable the delivery of the promised step-change economic and environmental benefits.
Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “HS2 is a wasteful vanity project which is unlikely to be completed on schedule and will cost taxpayers a fortune.
“The new Prime Minister should now be pursuing bold and imaginative policies to boost economic growth and increase productivity – and that positive approach must include scrapping HS2, which has cost taxpayers far too much already. Ministers should instead be embarking on more worthwhile infrastructure projects that will cost less and deliver far better value.”
In response, Colin Elliff, HSUK Civil Engineering Principal, said: “Today’s report follows a series of damning reports on the ill-conceived and economically flawed HS2 project.
“The cost saving of the HSUK scheme will not only save the taxpayer money, but will also address the capacity and connectivity issues of the current rail network, unlike HS2 which will predominantly serve London.
“By way of comparison, a cost saving of £21 billion is the equivalent capital required to train 300,000 more nurses, 609,000 more teachers or 490,500 more soldiers.
“Instead of delivering businesspeople from London to the North to revitalise these economies, the opposite will happen. Growth, jobs and opportunities will be funnelled to London, thereby solidifying the London-centric nature of the UK economy.
“The Government’s blind insistence of continuing with a scheme that does not address the capacity and connectivity issues found in the current network while ignoring superior alternatives such as HSUK is bewildering.
“It’s time that the Prime Minister Theresa May and Transport Secretary Chris Grayling conduct an in-depth review of HS2 alongside viable alternatives, such as HSUK which costs less, delivers more and can be built quicker.”