Transport is our buzz word for this month so a brief discussion about Britain’s rail network is a timely entry. I recently read an article about the proposed plans for the High Speed 2 rail link. As I scanned the article I found the piece of information that I was looking for; the pound sign! It read . . . £42.6bn.
Now, I’m no economist, but that is an eye-watering sum of money and that’s before they go over budget – like so many of these big projects do. My biggest question is; do we really need it and how do we fund it?
There are so many arguments for and against the project, all backed up by carefully chosen statistics. And it is right to be cautious. In the early 80’s British Rail implemented the Advanced Passenger Train (APT) that cost £50m (£150m in today’s money) only to go on and be filed under ‘historic failures’.
There is always a direct correlation between improved transport links and increased business but is it guaranteed?
Ultimately when it comes to the HS2 project, the commuter will have to stand back and watch while the MPs fight it out over the impact and financial implications. All we can say is; we will never stand in the way of progress and if it’s good for business we will support it. Although it would be nice if we were presented with the facts so that everybody can consider the issue.
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