JOHN CRIDLAND Director general, CBI

“Without new capacity, by the 2020s the main west coast line would be gummed up, and rail freight would be likely to be squeezed out. We are right to plan for the infrastructure which the next generation will need, and the biggest prize will come from phase two. This will help to spread the benefits of future economic growth across the country.”

ANDY STREET Managing director, John Lewis

“HS2 will result in considerable benefits and will compliment our strategy for jobs and growth, and strengthen our position nationally and internationally. We want HS2 not to be seen in isolation, and to be part of an integrated transport system, locally, nationally and internationally.”


“We are pleased that proposals we supported regarding the direct links to HS1 and Heathrow have been taken on board. HS2 will increase capacity on the rail network and once phase two is complete will open up Europe to the north of the UK benefiting businesses both in London and across the country.”

BORIS JOHNSON Mayor of London

A spokesperson said: “The Mayor has always believed there was a case for investing in a high speed rail network and he is pleased that the government has listened to the points he has made regarding its impact on the quality of life for thousands of residents in the capital. He will continue to press for the least possible disruption along the route.”

NIGEL LAWSON Former chancellor

“HS2 is a huge mistake. The fact is, it is a crazy grandiose vanity project which doesn’t stack up economically at all. We know from experience these projects always turn out to cost much more. There is a strong case for improving the transport infrastructure, particularly the railroad, but we can do a far better job for far less money on the existing rail structure.”

MATTHEW SINCLAIR Director, Taxpayers’ Alliance

“The economic case for the new line just isn’t credible and ministers still aren’t being honest about the hidden costs, or the consequences for towns getting a worse service and passengers paying higher fares under their current plans. There has never been a proper consideration of strategic alternatives.”

GRAEME LEACH, Director of policy, IoD

“Businesses still need convincing of the merits of the project. In all regions, IoD members think that improvements to existing intercity services are more important to their businesses. It’s true that you can’t add capacity to current lines indefinitely, but there are still a lot of uncertainties about the business case for HS2.”


“The main economic case is dependent on business time savings. By the mid 2030s when HS2 comes in, high tech teleconferencing will make much business travel unnecessary. This seems a major waste of money when spending is being cut and taxes raised. If the project goes ahead it will be a triumph for spin over economic good sense.”