HS2 and population change
Subnational population projections (SNPPs) ‘provide an indication of the future size and age structure of the population in the regions, local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups of England’.
In its latest projection, London, the East of England and the South East regions are shown as growing at a faster rate than England as a whole, the Office of National Statistics announced on 25 May. In percentage terms, population growth in the capital is projected to be three times that of north west England.
Such growth would place additional pressure on transport networks in London and the South East. It seems likely that very substantial investment might be necessary in the rail system in and around London.
The projections also support the idea that the proposed HS2 railway between London, Manchester, and Leeds, is the wrong kind of infrastructure investment. Better projects might include automation of the Underground (to allow 40-trains- per-hour operation), reinstatement of the Uckfield – Lewes and Maidenhead – High Wycombe links, and surface light rail in central London.