Hope for Aylesbury Vale as Government committee to rethink need for HS2 post-Covid THIS WEEK

A Parliamentary inquiry will begin next week highlighting the case for a 'complete rethink' of public transport in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Bucks Herald says: HS2, enough is enough!The Bucks Herald says: HS2, enough is enough!
The Bucks Herald says: HS2, enough is enough!

The business plan and case for building HS2 was heavily dependent on a huge increase of business travel to and from the capital.

However because of coronavirus we've seen a dramatic fall of people commuting and a huge increase in people working remotely.

This once again puts the desirability of the HS2 project into the spotlight.

As the Government looks set to tighten the country's belt as the country is set to enter a recession post coronavirus, it has said all options are on the table as they discuss the arguments for and against HS2.

There is also massive pressure on the government to reduce carbon emissions which means their new £27bn road building programme could also go on the scrapheap.

Former Aylesbury MP David Lidington, speaking to the Observer said following the pandemic there would be a decrease in people willing to pack on a train to go to business meetings for quite some time as things begin to return to normal.

He said: “These factors suggest that there is likely to be a fairly considerable drop in the demand for business travel between cities compared to the modelling that the department [for transport] had been using.

"It is likely that the case for an increase in passenger numbers is a lot weaker now than it is was. Are people in government looking at this now? They should be. The Treasury has always been very sceptical about HS2.”

The inquiry, titled 'Reforming Pubic Transport After the Pandemic' is explained as follows:

"The longer-term implications of the coronavirus pandemic for the UK’s public transport are to be examined by the Transport Committee.

"From the first weeks of lockdown, the Transport Committee has charted the impact of Covid-19 on the UK’s key transport sectors. Transport workers, stakeholders, mayors and ministers working in aviation, local transport, freight and maritime described the immediate pressures they faced during an unprecedented period of profound upheaval.

"This inquiry will take a holistic look at how public transport is changing and the implications for current government strategies including the Williams Rail Review, bus strategy, walking and cycling, taxis and private hire vehicles."