HS2 Alternate spending presented to the House of Commons

The Taxpayers Alliance have commissioned an alternative transport spending guide in opposition to HS2, which includes the electrification of the Chiltern Line.

The report is comprised of ideas submitted to the Tax Payers Alliance as competition entries, with the winning ideas listed in the report.

The Bucks Herald says HS2 #EnoughIsEnough

The Bucks Herald says HS2 #EnoughIsEnough

The report states: "The case for scrapping High Speed 2 (HS2) gets stronger by the day. Increasingly, people from across the political spectrum are waking up to the fundamental issues which have plagued this project.

"Whether it be the spiraling costs, environmental damage, consistent mismanagement or overwhelming unpopularity of the project, the tide is turning against HS2.

"With the latest evidence suggesting that costs could almost double, taxpayers are demanding more for their money. Even on current estimates, scrapping HS2 would free up at least £50 billion to improve transport links up and down the country.

"But were this to happen, what should replace it? With this question in mind, we joined the TaxPayers’ Alliance in launching The Great British Transport Competition in September 2018, to find popular alternatives to HS2."

The winners were a wide range of projects, all of which you can see here: https://bit.ly/2JjGBck
One of the suggestions is a S-Bahn style metro line akin to Munich's set up in Leeds, and also the electrification of the Chiltern Railway line from London Marylebone to Birmingham.

Other suggestions are 30 miles of the A1 trunk road between Newcastle and Edinburgh turned into a dual carriageway and a new rail link between London and Eastbourne on the East Sussex coast.

Last September, the Taxpayers' Alliance invited ideas and costings for alternative schemes to HS2 which would connect London with Birmingham and northern cities.

A panel of surveyors, engineers, accountants and politicians judged the entries and drew up a list of 28 projects that would cost a combined £45.2 billion.

With £6 billion already spent on the project and unrecoverable, that's a saving of more than £4 billion on HS2's remaining £50 billion budget.

Commenting on the report, John O'Connell, chief executive of TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:

"We have long argued that HS2 is a waste of taxpayers' money and this report makes that fact even clearer. Instead of spending £56 billion on a vanity project, the government should heed this report and look at the many excellent alternatives on offer.

"Given the number of excellent alternatives, it's now time to scrap this white elephant."

Craig Tracey, MP for North Warwickshire suggests the money is better spend elsewhere, and that the suggestions muted are serious alternatives.

He said: "Whilst I am fully supportive of improving the nation's transport, I genuinely don’t believe that HS2 is the solution.

"Today's results of the Great British Transport Competition show exactly how money can be better spent on infrastructure, both locally and nationally, which is more in tune with what the public actually wants, whilst also delivering long term economic benefits.

"We received some excellent entries and many congratulations to the winners. Ministers should seriously consider this package of proposals as a popular and credible alternative to HS2."

If the scheme was to be scrapped, the £56 billion pounds could be funneled into the construction of new railway stations, the upgrading of roads and reopening of disused railway lines across the UK.

Rt Hon David Davis MP said:

"The TaxPayers’ Alliance have done a fantastic job compiling 28 exciting transport infrastructure projects that could be delivered around the country instead of HS2.

"Together, the projects would bridge the divide between North and South, boost economic growth, improve capacity in our transport networks and provide a better service to passengers. What’s more, all proposals combined could be delivered quicker and cheaper than HS2.

"It is time we cancelled this vanity white elephant and focused on ensuring we properly prepare for the future needs of a fast-growing post-Brexit economy."