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Nimbyism and HS2 opposition

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A somewhat different, and possibly more 'Tattonesque', view of Nimbyism to that presented by Anthony Hilton

A somewhat different, and possibly more ‘Tattonesque’ view of Nimbyism, to that presented by Anthony Hilton

In the Independent, Anthony Hilton offered his views on the benefits of rewarding nimbyism and, by implication, opponents of the HS2 rail project.

[Anthony Hilton: ‘Don’t railroad the ‘nimbies’ – reward them properly for their sacrifice’, 7 Dec 2013]

[…] In France, the joke is that people lobby for a bypass to be built nearer to their home, rather than further away, so they will get more compensation – and then move.

The serious point is that the whole country benefits from an infrastructure project, so it is unfair that all the cost falls on those living near to one. The irony is that if they were rewarded properly, it would probably save money as there would be so much less to pay out on those massive legal bills and all the other costs of delay.

No doubt, the level of opposition to HS2 is to some extent related to the effects on localities directly impacted, and the (in)adequacy of mitigation and property compensation measures. But the claim that “the whole country benefits from an infrastructure project, so it is unfair that all the cost falls on those living near to one”, doesn’t have a factual basis. The costs of a sub-optimal infrastructure project are borne by all citizens, not just those living close by. Those costs take the form of taxes, and benefits foregone from the money not being spent some other way.

In the case of Kent’s HS1 railway, for example, it is certain that the vast majority of the British public do not benefit from its existence, and have never used the line. It is also likely that HS1’s monetised benefits are lower than its costs. There has to be some very good reasons for spending £50 billion on environmentally damaging and loss-making infrastructure, but so far as can be seen, there aren’t any.

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Written by beleben

December 7, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS1, HS2

Tagged with ,

One Response

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  1. The whole country will not benefit from HS2. Instead it will cost the taxpayer over £2,000 for every household in the land, after accruing fares out to the remote year of 2093 or thereabouts. The cost benefit and wider economic benefits are, in our opinion impossible to defend in a discussion devoted to finding the truth, see topic 17 here http://www.transport-watch.co.uk/topic-17-high-speed-rail-hs2.
    The cost per job “created” will be in excess of £700,000 for heavens sake. How many will that destroy in that part of the economy which makes a profit.
    The underlying theory in the analysis compares the cost to the Government with the supposed social benefits. The same applied to investment in the private sector (zero cost to the Government) implies private investment has an infinite rate of return – an absurd conclusion, but then the underlying theory is absurd see Topic 24 here http://www.transport-watch.co.uk/topic-24-nata-refresh-and-burger-bar


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