YP Letters: HS2 and why cost of high-speed rail could have been halved

From: Dr David Hill, CEO, World Innovation Foundation, Huddersfield.

Can the costs of HS2 be justified?

I HAVE learnt over the last 
40 years that when politicians, civil servants and councils 
want something, they make the whole thing sound like a bargain that people just cannot refuse and too good to be true. But if they don’t want something, then they double, treble or even quadruple the cost so that no one would ever support such schemes that they do not want, even though the scheme in question may be highly beneficial for the people.

They work this way all the time and HS2 is the prime example of this mentality working well.

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Indeed the initial estimate in 2010 was £32.7bn, but there have been estimates that the bill could top £100bn.

The big problem is that if Whitehall had decided to increase the capacity of the existing lines where HS2 will run to and from, the cost would 
have been 50 per cent of the present expenditure according to some estimates, and still provided the same additional capacity as HS2.

People will have to decide if this is a good investment for the taxpayer who will pay off the debt.