SAVE TENS OF BILLIONS BY STOPPING HS2 NOW
IT was reported last week that Britain’s most senior civil servant, Sir Jeremy Heywood, is reviewing HS2 as fears grow that the highspeed railway cannot be built with its £55 billion budget in its current form.
Bear in mind that this is only the latest budget, and most expect £55 billion to be well short of the final cost.
So what can we expect from a programme of cost-cutting?
I would suggest less mitigation, less environmental protection and less compensation for businesses and homeowners who are already suffering massively from blight and uncertainty.
Cost ‘savings’ so far have included (thankfully) the Heathrow link and (incredibly) the Channel Tunnel link. Whatever next?
Sir Jeremy should not be looking to save costs by cutting corners, but saving tens of billions by putting a stop to this nonsense now.
The government’s cost benefit analysis for HS2 takes no account of the devastating disruption faced by Denham, Harefield, Maple Cross, Rickmansworth and many surrounding communities during the nine-year construction period.
We are told that HS2 has cross-party support and that it would not go ahead without it.
Isn’t it time that someone in authority admits that this project was a huge mistake, and arrange to pull the emergency cord?
U-turns tend to be considered as negative moves, implying weakness, but this need not be the case where HS2 is concerned.
For my part I would applaud the individual or party who displayed the courage to admit that the planners got it wrong: the wrong solution to Britain’s transport difficulties, at the wrong time in the wrong place at the wrong price.
Might Sir Jeremy be the one to push the first domino? Or might the House of Lords see sense in the summer?
We can always hope.