The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), a conservative think-tank in the United Kingdom – like the Cato Institute here in the United States – has issued a new report that claims the planned high speed rail, dubbed “High Speed 2” (HS2), would be more costly to the the public than what’s been projected by proponents of the system.
Earlier this year, we reported that the rail’s route was altered from the original plan by an new coalition government. Still, the overall idea of HS2 is to connect London, and by extension – the rest of Europe, to northern cities in England like Leeds and Manchester.
The IEA claims that the HS2 project, which has a projected huge increase in demand for ridership over the next twenty years, would actually take 30 years to hit its stated goals in terms of public use. As well, the institute says several stretches of the proposed track are unnecessarily expensive at the expense of taxpayer’s dollars.
Opposition to the movement may have some fiscally responsible points, especially in terms of stations and routes that might need to be changed to be more cost-effective, however, as countries around the world have come to embrace high speed rail as a suitable form of transportation for an ever growing population, it would seem shortsighted to stop plans of the HS2 project all together.