HS2 Cannot be Justified

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HS2 Cannot be Justified is the title of an open letter to the Telegraph, organised by the Taxpayers' Alliance opposing the construction of a £30 billion high speed rail line.[1]

The Letter

SIR - We are extremely concerned at the Government's plans to spend more than £30billion on a new high-speed rail line. It would be wrong to spend that much - even leaving aside the notorious record of over-runs on these sorts of projects - on a train set that only a minority of fortunate passengers will use.

This is particularly true when higher taxes are putting pressure on families and businesses, and the public finances are making it necessary to curb spending in areas such as education and scientific research.

There is already a fast and frequent service to Birmingham and Manchester; existing trains running at up to 125mph mean that there are few flights on that route.

There are more affordable options for increasing capacity and reducing overcrowding than HS2, which will take decades to complete. Stretched commuter trains and congested roads are a bigger issue than the journey time to London.

An extremely expensive white elephant isn't what the economy needs. There are better ways to encourage growth than getting each family to pay over £1,000 for a vanity project that we cannot afford.


Patrick Barbour | Toby Baxendale | Antony Craven Walker | Mark Davies | Robin Faccenda | Terence Faulkner | John Hoerner | Angus Keate | Christopher Kelly | Damon de Laszlo | Nigel Lawson | Ruth Lea | Philip Leech | Mark Littlewood | David Naish | Rohan Masson-Taylor | Matthew Sinclair | Richard Smith | Nigel Vinson | Mike Williams | Simon Wolfson


  1. Patrick Barbour et al., HS2 Cannot be Justified, the Telegraph, 10-March-2011