It just does not make any sense to have a prestige project with little material value. The quality of infrastructure needs improvement not the speeds.

Roger Helmer MEP

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I’ve written before about HS2, though not for some time.  I still find people who don’t understand the basic problem with the scheme. The argument in favour seems to be: other countries have high speed rail, so we must have it too. It’s modern and with it and a sign of commitment to the future. It will rejuvenate the economies of the North, and spread London growth rates to Manchester and Sheffield. It will save twenty minutes on the London/Birmingham journey. It will provide more capacity.

Most of these arguments are spurious. Yes, it may save a few minutes off the journey time, but as has been widely pointed out, these days people can work on the train, so a few minutes here or there is no loss. Yes, it would provide more capacity — but there are much cheaper and less disruptive ways of doing that. No, it won’t…

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