High speed

Following the news that the first major works contracts for High Speed 2 worth around £900m have been awarded to three consortia*, a survey conducted by the ITV Tonight programme into issues surrounding HS2 has found:

  • Only 15% feel that HS2 is worth £56bn
  • 58% don’t think it’s a price worth paying
  • 77% of people would prefer that the money was spent in other areas, like the NHS
  • Nearly three-quarters of people thought HS2 would lead to price rises for train tickets
  • 60% said they would not pay more to ride on HS2
  • 7% would be prepared to pay increased prices for the high speed line
  • 80% said they felt sympathy for people who may lose their homes to HS2, even though they may be compensated
  • 11% people thought the high speed rail link would benefit the majority of commuters
  • 23% are not aware that HS2 is being planned

Additionally, less than 20% of respondents thought they would use HS2 when built, and only a third of people feeling that HS2 will benefit the north.

Joe Rukin, Stop HS2 Campaign Manager responded “After six and a half years of trying to con people into thinking HS2 is a good idea, public support for this white elephant is at an all-time low. It’s clear the spin from Government isn’t working as not only do only 15% think it’ll be worth the money, they’ve also seen through the spin, with the vast majority thinking it won’t benefit commuters, it won’t benefit the north and it will lead to an increase in the cost of train tickets. Quite simply, no-one is buying the hype and it is time to cancel HS2 before it is too late.”

Penny Gaines, chair of Stop HS2 added “We have yet another survey that shows the British people don’t think HS2 is worth the £56 billion pound price tag. This is the same message as from numerous other surveys. People can see the downsides, they won’t use HS2 and they are worried that HS2 will mean increased fare prices on the trains they do use. With the Government’s intention that whoever gets the West Coast Main Line franchise will also run HS2 for the first few years, it is even more likely that conventional speed fares will go up.”

*North: LM JV (Laing O’Rourke Construction, J Murphy & Sons)
South: CS JV (Costain, Skanska Construction UK )
Central: Fusion JV (Morgan Sindall, BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial Agroman (UK)

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