I have continuously campaigned against a second state-funded high speed rail programme. It is slowly transpiring that the business case is collapsing. The benefit cost ratio (BCR) for phase 1 has fallen from 2.4 in March 2010 to just 1.2 today and 1.4 for the whole of the Y spur extension. A fifth downgrade is expected to be released in the summer incorporating the new, lower GDP figures. How low do the figures need to go until policy makers understand the folly of socialised infrastructure with the risk borne by the tax payer?
The BCR also relies on a successful completion of the project. But the Major Projects Authority has given the HS2 an Amber / Red rating, which means, “The successful delivery of the project is in doubt, with major risks or issues apparent in a number of key areas.”
In addition, the 2011 Rail Utilisation Strategy shows that long distance services in to Euston are at just 60% of capacity for the three hours of peak morning demand, and just 64% in the busiest hour. Whereas, Paddington and Waterloo are both over 100% in the peak hour; therefore making Euston the least busy long distance service.
Given the floundering case for HS2, every MP should question whether it is in the best interests of tax payers and this country.