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How credible are HS2 demand forecasts?

with 6 comments

DfT, HS2 outline economic case, phase 2b

Diagram from DfT’s HS2 outline economic case for phase 2b, Nov 2016

HS2’s passenger demand forecasts have been questioned in a letter from the chairman of the treasury select committee Andrew Tyrie to transport secretary Chris Grayling.

[Letter to Chris Grayling, 4 Jan 2017, extract]

The largest impact to the benefit-cost ratio for the full HS2 network comes from more recent outturn demand data from 2011 to 2014. It is demonstrated in Figure 1.2 in the Department’s economic case for HS2 that the impact of this increase on the benefit­ cost ratio is 1.6. If the demand update were to be removed, the benefit-cost ratio falls dramatically, from 2.7 for the full network, to 1.1.

HS2 Ltd claim its new railway would carry ‘300,000 passengers per day’ – which is vastly more than is carried on Inter City West Coast, Inter City East Coast, and Midland-Main-Line-intercity combined. Of course, many current intercity journeys could not transfer to HS2, because they involve origins or destinations not served (e.g. Coventry, Peterborough, Leicester, Wolverhampton).

For comparison, the two largest ICWC flows – London to Birmingham, plus London to Manchester – together amount to somewhere around 25,000 passengers per day.

HS2 November 2016 Y network benefit cost, with and without 'wider impacts'

HS2 official benefit-cost with and without ‘wider impacts’, 2016

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Written by beleben

January 6, 2017 at 5:51 pm

6 Responses

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  1. Try as I might I have tried to establish what current passenger numbers are on those services to be transferred to hs2 but am met by catch 22 as no one will tell me what those services are!
    Can anyone help please?

    Stratfan

    January 7, 2017 at 9:43 am

    • Well spotted. With any luck, I might stop writing “2016” sometime around June.

      I’ve corrected the date, to avoid confusion.

      beleben

      January 7, 2017 at 10:55 am

    • Thank you, I have been looking for that. Another item which I have been looking for is the “Summary of Key Changes to the Economic Case Since 2015” (HS2 Ltd, November 2016) – as mentioned on the ‘HS2 and the environment’ blog.

      beleben

      May 6, 2017 at 9:12 am

  2. […] passengers / day, HS2 Ltd have now raised their passenger forecast by 2036 for these routes to 300,000 passengers / day which is a 6 -7 fold increase in passenger figures. Note: In 2010 HS1 had only […]


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