WestEndExtra

The independent London newspaper

We need a pledge to look again at HS2 expenditure

11 May, 2017

• HS2 will cost the UK at least £60billion at a time when the priority of public expenditure so obviously needs to be given to the NHS, housing and education and, for reasons of climate change, not to subsidised fossil fuel-dependent activities, particularly high-speed, long-distance, travel.

We cannot continue to ignore this over-riding issue. Why then does it look as if the main political parties are going to fail in their manifestos to include a pledge to review their support for it (Letter from Stephen Plowden, ‘HS2? All the necessary capacity could be provided without building a new line at all, May 4)?

In the light of the impressive objections to the proposal by many eminent economists on grounds not least of cost-effectiveness it seems to me that the only, though highly questionable, explanation is the parties fear that the outcome of such a review would result in its abandonment, with electoral recognition of the appalling waste of money that had been incurred to date.

Such a review however would in all likelihood reveal a sum that would pale into insignificance compared with the future costs of its completion!

DR MAYER HILLMAN
Netherhall Gardens, NW3

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