Essay: HS2 Proposal Is a Government

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[. . .] 3). The report then goes on to spell out in detail a much different report than those issued by the pro-side of the argument. One interesting point that A Better Railway makes in its report is that there is a need to avoid the "expensive disasters that many of our competitors have faced in their high speed rail projects and look at the opportunity cost of HS2 and alternatives that are more beneficial and appropriate to the situation in the UK" (p. 3). This is an interesting argument in that there have been a number of countries that implemented projects similar to this and have not seen the benefits that had been touted.

Many of the contradicting reports take an all or nothing approach; either the HS2 line will achieve the impossible or it will achieve nothing but heartache. One of the reports does not look at the benefits of HS2 directly, but indirectly as to how other lines will be positively affected once HS2 is a viable option. Greengauge21 is one of those reports. It states that the research shows that "there will be substantial improvements possible on the West Coast Main line by virtue of the capacity liberated on that route by HS2" (p. 5). The Greengauge21 report also plays on passenger misery by stating that "irritating limitations on the commuter peak timetable will become history" (p. 5). The problem with these rosy projections, is that it seems to be based on the fact that many of the passengers from the 'slow' train will transfer their traveling to the 'fast' train, thereby opening up additional seating capacity. The HS2 report shows that there will only be 22% new passengers; this does not seem to jive with the scenario presented by Greengauge21.

Another area of concern was addressed by the HS2 report; Valuing the benefits of HS2 (London- West Midlands) which states that there are three economic impacts to consider; direct benefits, disbenefits (Wider Economic Impacts) and other economic and social impacts arising from land use changes. The report concludes that "HS2 would have substantial impacts both on the areas it serves directly and those areas that benefit from alternative uses of the transport network" (p. 12). What is interesting about this report is that it attempts to quantitatively justify with numbers that come from 'social' impacts and land use changes. That is a fairly assumptive endeavor, and one that (based on previous government miscues) would likely being so far off the mark, that the mark is not even in sight. There are three types of economic impacts to be considered when assessing transport schemes. These are: direct benefits and disbenefits to users of the transport network; so called 'Wider Economic Impacts'; and, other economic and social impacts arising from land use changes.

Bluespace Thinking Ltd., may have said it best in their report by stating that there are alternative ways to address the transportation issue that should at least be considered.

Page three of their report states that "having reviewed the proposal, we do not consider that either the economic benefit case or any suggestion that the proposals will reduce emissions are sound." This author would agree and would further suggest that an independent auditing group compile real numbers based on real facts in order to understand all the complexities involved in this issue. With so much at stake, such an approach is the most sensible one to take.

Executive Summary

This report discusses the pros and cons of the proposed High Speed 2 train line project in Great Britain. The purpose of the paper was to determine what the positive and negative factors of the project are being discussed in the current literature. It is hoped that the factors being discussed will shed light on the overwhelming evidence against this particular project.

The seven articles used to enhance this discussion presented data and information from both the positive and negative aspects of the project. Information and research from these articles have brought to light some interesting questions as to the viability of such an expensive project.

Preliminary debate has focused on the reduction of the carbon footprint, and the primary usage of the high speed rail system, as well as the projected 30 billion in construction costs.

It is hoped that this report will at the very least open a… [END OF PREVIEW]

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"HS2 Proposal Is a Government."  Essaytown.com.  December 12, 2011.  Accessed April 19, 2019.
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