Rising Costs Threaten to Thwart UK High-Speed Rail

Britain's grand plan to halve travel times between the country's biggest cities and expand economic growth outside London via high-speed rail is getting pushback from the very places it's meant to help.

"A proposed high-speed railroad known as HS2 is Britain’s biggest and most controversial transportation plan, a Continental-style 'grand projet' meant to ease crowded trains and congested tracks, reduce automobile traffic and generate economic growth," writes Stephen Castle. 

"Yet as cost estimates have risen — the budget now stands at £42.6 billion, or $65.8 billion — so has opposition to the project. And some of the strongest resistance comes from the very parts of the north that HS2 is supposed to help."

For instance, Peter Box, leader of Wakefield Council, "argues that highway repairs and upgraded regional rail links should be higher priorities than HS2, which he worries may mainly benefit the south. Instead of attracting investment and talent to the northern regions, he said, HS2 may simply funnel more people and prosperity into London."

"Some critics agree, noting that when Japan and South Korea built their high-speed rail systems, the economic gap between those countries’ capitals and outlying cities widened," notes Castle.


Full Story: As Cost of U.K. Rail Project Grows, So Does Resistance

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.
$36.00
Red necktie with map of Boston

Tie one on to celebrate your city

Choose from over 20 styles of neckties imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95