I attended an HS2 meeting with Philip Hammond in Amersham tonight.
My impression is that the consultation is sincere and that the Secretary of State is willing to engage meaningfully. However, I believe the government is also sincerely committed to the programme.
My main point was that rational economic calculation is not possible without the unhampered formation of prices and that prices in transport today are subject to a range of interventions. That is, far from knowing that HS2 would revitalise the north, we do not even know whether we over-produce transport infrastructure. This is the socialist calculation problem. More on the theory here.
And congratulations to the HS2 Action Alliance for their superb work!
More anon when the papers report the meeting.