Support for HS2 seems to be crumbling, with the Institute of Directors and former chancellor Alistair Darling calling for its cancellation, the CBI demanding clarification on the benefits, and the Labour Party saying it won’t support the project if it costs more than £50bn. How should the project proceed?
Simon Walker, director general of the Institute of Directors, is clearly unequivocal, describing the proposed high-speed line as ‘a grand folly’.
Our latest poll – asking how the HS2 project should proceed – returned a markedly moderate outlook with a total of 61 per cent of respondents taking a more favourable view compared to the 39 per cent who want immediate cancellation of the high-speed line that would connect London and Birmingham with further spurs to Leeds and Manchester.
However, less than a fifth (17 per cent) believe the government should go ahead with HS2 regardless of growing criticism and revised cost estimates. A further seven per cent of respondents took the Labour Party line, agreeing that HS2 should only proceed if costs (including rolling stock) are kept below £50bn, and 37 per cent favour the project but only if smaller upgrades will not solve capacity concerns. What do you think? Let us know below.