Boris Johnson on HS2:
”I have visited Ruislip twice in the last year to voice my disapproval of the scheme.I am by far the best candidate to push for the changes to HS2.We have already succeeded in getting a tunnel extended and now we have to look carefully at the business case for it. If we are going to go ahead there will have to be substantial mitigation measures in place and a real solution to having HS2 at Euston.”
Myth 1: HS2 is green
- HS2 will increase carbon emissions, but the Government say the project is carbon neutral. We are committed to 80% reduction in emissions by 2050.
- 400kph trains use 3 times the power that 200kph trains do.
- The full network would concrete an area the size of Manchester.
- The 72 metres ‘no vegetation’ width is wider than Wembley (69 metres).
- HS2 will encourage extra journeys. It assumes that 27% of the projected passengers, almost 40,000 people per day, will only travel because HS2 is built.
- HS2′s case ignores the environmental costs.
Myth 2: HS2 will deliver regional benefits
- The benefits will mainly go to Central London. Three times as many passenger journeys will be towards Central London, not away from it, so redistribution will end up there.
- The limited regional benefits will be sucked to the few stations.
Myth 3: HS2 is a sound investment returning over £2 for every £1 spent
- It overestimates the value of time savings.
- It assumes 133% background growth in demand. This is a huge increase in demand, and is double that of other reputable forecasts.
- It also assumes an additional 133% increase in demand due to HS2 itself. This is much more than the West Coast Main Line upgrade, which delivered a bigger service improvement.
- It ignores competition from conventional rail. Failure to realistically assess the competition was a mistake made by HS1 and the Channel Tunnel.
- It ignores the impact of new technologies, which are reducing demand for travel.
Myth 4: Only HS2 can solve our capacity issues
- The DfT’s own alternative, Rail Package 2, delivers all the capacity requirements.
- Rail Package 2 is designed to meet demand incrementally, has a superior rate of return, and costs just £2bn. Clearly better value for us all.
Myth 5: HS2 will greatly reduce domestic air travel
- HS2 argues for a modal shift, based on unrealistic demand for domestic air travel. It assumes an increase of 178% by 2033, whilst today the domestic air travel market is in decline.
Myth 6: The UK lacks fast connectivity between our cities
- Journey times between our major cities are faster than our European competitors. We already have an extensive fast rail network.