HS2 – Would it be better ignoring London?


The recent arguments over HS2, and whether it is worth the money, has reminded me of the following recommendation from ‘Towards a Strong Urban Renaissance’, (Urban Task Force, 2005):


  • ‘Fund and prioritize public transport based on its potential to contribute to a fully rounded urban renaissance, not just on a transport business case or simplistic job creation argument’.

Ignoring the validity of the business case which the Government has put forward (which, of course we shouldn’t – it looks pretty dubious to me), it certainly looks like the Government hasn’t considered at all how a domestic High Speed Train network can be used to create a fully rounded urban renaissance by, for example, linking the UK’s Midland and Northern towns, cities and conurbations to each other rather than to London.

I write this as someone who is basedin the South East – we shouldn’t ignore London (how can we) but London and the South East will be better served if the UK has stronger regional cities and economies, and I think linking together other parts of the UK will do this better than a fast link (for some) to London.


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