MPs to hit out at HS2 as research doubts benefits
28 April 2014 5:47am
NEW RESEARCH claims the benefits of the High Speed 2 railway for the north of England have been exaggerated, and that the “regeneration myth” is obscuring the damage that would be done to some regions.
Ahead of a vote in parliament on the new laws needed to build HS2, the Institute of Economic Affairs argued that the north will suffer a similar fate to Kent, whose stations on the high-speed line to the Channel have not stopped employment falling faster than the national average since 2010.
“The failure of High Speed 1 to achieve its aim of transforming East Kent raises serious questions about the ability of HS2 to ‘rebalance’ the UK economy,” said the IEA’s head of transport Richard Wellings.
The think-tank said the HS2 route will instead create Potemkin villages, or spurious regeneration projects that offer no real economic prospects.
Several dozen MPs are today expected to defy the government and vote down the bill needed to build the new High Speed 2 railway.
However, the HS2 bill looks set to comfortably pass its second reading tonight, backed by the Labour party and the coalition.
Michael Fabricant, who lost his job as vice chairman of the Conservatives this month partly due to his opposition to HS2, told Sky News yesterday that “if Labour were against it the rebellion would be a lot bigger than 40”, and that 80 to 100 Tory MPs have “really serious doubts” about the scheme.
The Taxpayers’ Alliance today urged politicians to reject the “wasteful vanity project” and provoke “a serious rethink of spending priorities”.
However, the British Chambers of Commerce called on MPs to pass the HS2 bill and unlock “transformational capacity to Britain’s rail networks”.
The £42.6bn HS2 project is set to link London to Birmingham by 2026, before extending up to Manchester and Leeds by 2033.
In other news
The UK government is facing legal action from two of the world's biggest tobacco companies over its new “plain [Read more]
Former secretary of state for communities and local government Eric Pickles is to be knighted, 10 Downing Street [Read more]
Network Rail engineers have destroyed the Abbey Wood station as part of the Crossrail development that is expected [Read more]
The Championship looks set to once again be named the fourth most-watched league in Europe, following a seven [Read more]
The Costa Coffee owner said Brittain was "the standout candidate from a very strong field". [Read more]
Sugary foods may be taxed to cover the costs of treating obesity, a government minister has said.
European governments must increase efforts to adopt structural reform if “lasting stability and prosperity” [Read more]
Accounting, finance and economics - choose to study any of these subjects anywhere and you'll be likely to land [Read more]
Badly-behaved bosses are a nightmare if you're the unfortunate employee who has to work for them - but they're [Read more]
Last night hundreds of people in Kent were woken by a 4.2 magnitude earthquake, which occurred just before 3am. [Read more]
Are the UK's new crop of MPs actually any good at social media? [Read more]
The retail industry is in a state of flux. Consumers and technology are driving fundamental changes. And now, [Read more]
Newly re-elected Prime minister David Cameron will hold his first talks with European Union leaders today, as [Read more]
The Conservatives came to power on the back of an improving economy and with the promise of more improvement to [Read more]
Cert 12a | ★☆☆☆☆ [Read more]
Cert PG | ★★☆☆☆
Old Vic | ★★★★☆ [Read more]