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Scrapping HS2 could jeopardise all of our efforts to level up cities across the UK

City A.M.

Adam Hawksbee, Deputy Director, discusses the consequences for levelling up if HS2 is scrapped. He writes:

“Scrapping the whole project now would be an example of another famous characteristic of British statecraft: short term Treasury-driven decision making. For a decade, the project has suffered death by a thousand cuts — every time a route or stop is scrapped or delayed, we reduce the benefits of the line. The recent pause to work at Euston, driven entirely by the need to reprofile spending to meet the Treasury’s fiscal rules, has further increased the price tag and dented the all-important “benefit cost ratio”.

It is impossible to level up the country without improving transport links outside London and the South East. One of the biggest benefits of HS2 is that it unlocks Northern Powerhouse Rail, through new links to Manchester airport – facilitating faster and more reliable transport between dozens of struggling towns and underperforming cities.”

Read the full piece here.

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