Commenting on ‘The Strategic Case for HS2’, published today by the Department of Transport (DfT), Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy and External Affairs at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:
“HS2 is the only scheme that can transform capacity on Britain’s overstretched railways. As this crucial report shows, make-do-and-mend schemes that upgrade existing lines would lead to crippling delays, overcrowded trains, and off-peak travel chaos for years on end. Cancelling HS2 in favour of such upgrades would cost a fortune, disrupt business, and deliver just a fraction of the capacity we need for the future.  
“Major infrastructure projects similar to HS2 have always suffered from opposition and naysayers in Britain. In their day, the M25 motorway, the Jubilee Line Extension, High Speed One and the Channel Tunnel were heavily opposed. Yet each one today is part of Britain’s core economic infrastructure, and have brought economic benefit to businesses and individuals across the UK.

“HS2 is no different. A new high-speed rail network, as part of a wider infrastructure investment strategy, will allow for more commuter services into key cities, and for more freight trains to take cargo off our roads. Crucially, it also delivers resilience in case one of the existing main lines encounters difficulties.

“This report bolsters the economic case for HS2. Politicians flirting with an HS2 u-turn must stop being opportunistic for political gain, and get behind this critical long-term infrastructure project.”