Laura Sharman 08 September 2016

Scrap 'economically irresponsible' HS2 argues think tank

Scrap economically irresponsible HS2 argues think tank image

The ‘costly and inefficient’ HS2 programme should be scrapped after figures showed it will cost the taxpayer in excess of £50bn, a think tank has claimed.

The Adam Smith Institute branded the scheme ‘economically irresponsible’ in a new paper out today.

It said HS2 will cost nine times more per mile than high speed tracks in France and - with off-peak occupancy levels well below 50% - will deliver ‘rock bottom’ returns.

Instead, the think tank said the Government should focus on schemes like the electrification of the TransPennine Railway and the London-Sheffield mainline in order to achieve its Northern Powerhouse agenda.

The paper also calls for the Government to sell off 49.9% of Network Rail to replicate the success of the privatisation of the National Grid worth over £35bn.

Adam Smith Institute fellow and author of the paper, Nigel Hawkins, said: ‘Action to sort out Britain's railways is a priority. Radical decisions are needed to deliver financial competence, sensible investment and improved customer benefits into the system.

‘Scrapping the shockingly expensive HS2, selling up to 49.9% of Network Rail and cracking down on under-performing franchises are priorities.’

Declaring a climate change emergency image

Declaring a climate change emergency

Local authorities can play a key role in tackling climate change – and there is plenty for them to do. Never before has thinking globally and acting locally been more important, says Mark Whitehead.
Open letter to Boris Johnson image

Open letter to Boris Johnson

The MJ's editor Heather Jameson asks the new PM a simple question: do you want to fund local government or do you want to scale back services to the basics?
Highways jobs

Senior Traffic Engineer

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
£32,029 - £34,788 per annum
Currently seeking an enthusiastic and experienced individual to manage our Traffic Team. East Riding of Yorkshire
Recuriter: East Riding of Yorkshire Council

ESCA Development Assistant

Essex County Council
£20000 - £22200 per annum + Excellent Benefits Package
ESCA Development Assistants will work at the heart of the team to deliver administrative tasks in support of all programmes and projects across Children & Families and Adults and financial monitoring. England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

ASC Senior Social Worker - Physical & Sensory Impairment Team

Essex County Council
£38400 - £46475 per annum
Job Purpose ECC Adult Social Care, through effective practice, is moving towards a transformational shift from a focus on long-term care support, to a England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Head of Operational and Commercial Services

Copeland Borough Council
£66,273.48 per annum
Looking for a professional with ambition and inspirational leadership qualities, with operational service and... Cumbria
Recuriter: Copeland Borough Council

Customer Service Assistant

Brent Council
£22,779 - £24,030 p.a. Inc.
An exciting and challenging opportunity has arisen within the Customer Services section. Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine