HS2 and population
Britain’s fastest growing cities are all in the south, and its shrinking ones all in the north, wrote Citymetric’s Jonn Elledge (14 Aug 2015).
The main point to notice is that only one of Britain’s boom towns is above the line from the Bristol Channel to the Wash: that’s Telford, in the Midlands. All of the others are pretty comfortably within London’s orbit.
And as can be seen from SLC Rail’s regional population trends table (below), population growth in London and the South East is expected to be considerably higher than in the West Midlands and North West.
Contrary to the impression given by HS2 ‘blobbyists’, the primary need for additional rail capacity is going to be in the south east of England. Spending £56+ billion on 560-odd kilometres of HS2 track to Manchester and Leeds makes no sense in capacity terms, and is bound to crowd out improvements for places where capacity is actually needed.