Wake up boo, forget HS2
On 29 February, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation stated that ten of “the UK’s top twelve struggling cities” are in the north of England. According to Volterra’s Paul Ormerod, chancellor George Osborne should “forget HS2”; the ‘Northern powerhouse’ can only be rescued by investing in human capital.
In his City A.M. column (2 March), Mr Ormerod made reference to the views of “extremely distinguished professor” Mike Batty on the likely inefficacy of infrastructure such as HS2.
But the production of reports extolling the virtues of HS2 seems to have been Volterra’s bread and butter for the last few years. Clients from the HS2/HS3 blob have included the Core Cities group, Liverpool city council, Sheffield City Region, Stoke-on-Trent council, and the Department for Transport.
In his 22 May 2013 column for City A.M., Mr Ormerod had said that connections from HS2 would give the North “dynamic potential”.
Something of a volte-face, then.