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The case for HS2 has become even less defensible

As if any more evidence were needed that HS2 is a ruinous mistake, today’s report by the Public Accounts Committee should be the end of the project. It exposes a shocking lack of transparency, accusing civil servants at the Department for Transport of withholding information from Parliament about its spiralling costs.

Massively over-budget before work has even fully started, the public can have no faith in reassurances that this hubristic scheme will turn out to be anything other than a white elephant and an appalling waste of money.

The business case for HS2 was weak before the coronavirus pandemic struck. Now it is nonexistent. The use of public transport has plummeted, and once the virus has passed there is no certainty that rail passenger numbers will rise to anything like the levels seen before the crisis.

538prom精品视频在线播放In any case, the Government is currently spending billions of pounds just to stave off the total collapse of the economy, accruing massive new debts that future generations will have to repay in some form or other. Is now really a good moment to be ploughing untold billions more into such a dubious project?

Very soon, as life gradually returns to normal, the Government will have to set out a comprehensive plan for reviving economic growth. Deregulation, bold tax cuts for businesses and individuals, and intelligent investment in infrastructure, science and technology will be crucial to ensuring the country does not slump into a near-permanent stagnation. All of this will be expensive and, to help meet the cost, ministers should be identifying savings in other areas now. Where better to start than by scrapping HS2?

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