So HS2 wasn’t really about increasing prosperity in the North after all

by Jeremy on 07-Sep-2013

The FT published an article online yesterday (Friday 6 September) in which Nick Clegg was quoted as saying that London’s status as “an economic global powerhouse” would be put at risk without the High Speed 2 rail scheme. He went on to say that the HS2 regional infrastructure project would provide “space for growth” in the capital and added that there was a need to constantly upgrade both the housing and transport infrastructure inside London, and upgrade links to and from the city.

In the article Mr Clegg dismisses recent adverse comments, presumably including those by considerably more experienced politicians such as Alistair Darling and Lord Mandelson, as “Midsummer muttering”. But of course, his having made it clear that by far the biggest beneficiary of HS2 economically is likely to be London and not the regions, he had to look for some way of trying to distract people from the truth – the realisation that this project never was about increasing prosperity in the North.

It seems then that while there may be a few crumbs left on the table for Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds in the form of a number of jobs at the new stations and maybe some jobs in London for high flyers who can afford the ticket prices of the proposed high speed railway, the reality of the Deputy PM’s words  is that HS2 is, and always was, really about London.

Read the full article by James Pickford and Mark Odell at: HS2 is about London, Clegg tells the FT.


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