Cancellation of High Speed 2 would result in the loss of 9,000 jobs on the project (with 30,000 expected to be created at peak construction), as well as many more in the supply chain.
That’s the warning from the High Speed Rail Industry Leaders group, in its Why Britain Needs HS2 report published today.
The report was produced as part of a submission to the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review. It claims that development strategies and private sector investments in the Midlands and northern England would disintegrate; that the economic stimulus that the new railway is providing would be lost; and that the possibility of curtailing short-haul domestic air travel would vanish.
Further damage caused by axing the new railway would include less modal shift from road freight to rail; increased pressure on the M1, M6 and M40 motorways; restriction of travel as a result of higher rail fares and increased road congestion; lower productivity; higher carbon emissions; and a loss of confidence of investors in the UK - particularly engineering businesses.
Why Britain Needs HS2 also says the railway is the most affordable way of “bringing Britain back together” by boosting the economies of major cities in the North and the Midlands, and that at least 22 towns and cities will benefit from better rail services despite not being on the line of route.
For the FULL story, read RAIL 883, published on July 17, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle from July 13.