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The economic case for HS2

with 2 comments

The Economic Affairs Committee, one of five permanent investigative committees in the House of Lords, has announced an inquiry into the economic case for HS2 (10 July 2014).

Rugby Midland, West Coast Main Line

The inquiry will be the first the Committee have undertaken under the new Chairmanship of Lord Hollick. The scope of the inquiry is limited to the economic case for the development of HS2. It will not cover aspects of planning or the impact of the Hybrid Bill on individuals with property on the proposed HS2 route.

The Committee have published a Call for Evidence and invite written submissions to arrive no later than 15 September.

Areas the Committee are inviting evidence on include:

  • Is there an economic case for HS2?
  • Should the Department for Transport’s Strategic Case for HS2 published in October 2013 have included any other factors in making an economic case for the project?
  • What are the likely economic benefits of HS2 to the Midlands, the North of England and to Scotland? Do they depend on complementary action by government and local authorities, for example by developing measures to attract investment and skilled workers?
  • Will London be the main economic beneficiary of HS2? Might some areas of the country suffer economic disadvantage?
  • How should HS2 be operated? Should it be a franchise in competition with the West and East Coast Main Lines?
  • Should travellers pay higher fares on HS2 than other lines?
  • Does the prospect of HS3 affect the economic case for HS2?

Lord Hollick, Chairman of the Committee, comments:

“HS2 is likely to represent one of the biggest infrastructure investment programmes in the UK for decades. With over £50 billion of public money estimated to be spent it is vital that the public has confidence the project will produce real economic benefits.

“Our inquiry will attempt to get to the bottom of what the real economic impact of HS2 will be, who will benefit and who might lose out. We will find out whether the Government has taken full account of all the economic considerations in setting out the case for HS2 and what the impact will be in different parts of the UK.

“Our inquiry and the report that we produce will be based on the evidence we receive. While we are not the right avenue for individuals who wish to comment on the impact of the proposed route on their property – that role will fall to the Hybrid Bill Committees of both Houses of Parliament – we are very interested to hear from anyone who can comment on the economic case for HS2 more broadly, We would invite written evidence to be sent to us by the 15 September.”

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Written by beleben

July 11, 2014 at 5:48 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2, Politics

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2 Responses

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  1. Another one for the Lords Committee’s list:

    What would the economic case for HS2 look like if HS3 were built first?

    Michael Wand

    July 12, 2014 at 8:59 am

  2. I would like a simple comparison of the theoretical capacity of HS2 from London to Manchester and the cost, . compared with the equivalent figures for an additional, intercity link. If I wanted to buy a wind generator, I would compare rated capacities and prices. I would know that the generators would rarely perform at rated capacity but rated capacities would be the logical way to compare them. I have yet to see such a comparison, only swathes of complex calculations and statistics, which mean nothing to the layman, who pays the price.

    Ernie Hamer

    July 13, 2014 at 3:54 pm


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