The UK needs HS2

25 March 2015

The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee today published a report entitled ‘the Economic Case for HS2’ in which they state that the government has not made a convincing case for building the HS2 link between London and the North. The Committee believes that the government’s arguments in relation to the capacity and regeneration benefits of the line’s construction are not sufficiently proven.

ASLEF General Secretary Mick Whelan said ‘The case for HS2 is quite simple. The population of the UK will increase by 10 million in less than 20 years. We are not building more roads or expanding domestic aviation while demand for rail travel grows exponentially. Our transport system is crying out for the new capacity HS2 will bring. We don’t just need one high speed line we need a network which is connected to our major airports. ’

Mick continued ‘I don’t agree with the Committee that upgrades to the existing network or longer trains will solve the capacity problems on the network. Enhancements will not deliver this. Equally the Committee hasn’t considered that 70% of rail journeys begin or end in London.

Mick added ‘I agree with the Committee’s assessment that the government has no long terms strategy for transport. This echoes a report from the Public Accounts Committee in January which stated the government does not have a clear strategic plan for the rail industry. The Welsh government are currently consulting on a National Transport Plan. Why don’t we have one for the UK?’

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