HS2 Phase 2: public believes scrapping would be a costly mistake
A survey of more than 3,000 people across the UK has found little appetite for abandoning Phase 2 of the high-speed rail line between Birmingham and Manchester.
As speculation mounts that the Government is set to scrap Phase 2, leaving a line from London to Birmingham only, the survey suggests most people believe failing to see the project through now would be a waste of money.
A total of 76% of those surveyed agreed that building only part of the original route meant all the money spent on the first leg to Birmingham would be wasted and the disruption already caused by its construction rendered pointless.
The survey, commissioned by the West Midlands Growth Company, part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), also found that 69% believed ‘failure to complete HS2 was a failure to level up the rest of the UK’.
The findings were echoed amongst people living in the West Midlands with 74% believing the scrapping of Phase 2 would be a waste of money and 70% believing it would be a failure to level up the nation.
Henrietta Brealey, CEO of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: “It’s clear from this survey that the vast majority believe building only half the railway would be a waste of money and a huge missed opportunity to modernise our transport network and level up the UK.
“That chimes with the views of political and business leaders in the West Midlands who know that failing to complete HS2 would seriously reduce the economic benefits, undermine investor confidence and tear up transport and regeneration plans that have been years in the making and, in many cases, are mid-delivery.
“Building half of the route would deliver all of the pain for almost none of the gain for those on the Phase One route.
“Delivered in full, HS2 will mean 175,000 new jobs and £20 billion of additional economic output for the West Midlands alone.”