Newsnight's new policy editor Lewis Goodall may have overruled the Government over the House of Lords but he's sticking up for HS2 and dashing my hopes about trains north of Birmingham being improved with money previously allocated to HS2:
- £106bn is a lot of money. But it is worth saying that successful infrastructure lasts decades if not centuries and people in 2050 are unlikely to be using HS2 and saying “god, I wonder how much this cost? Might have been a waste of money.”
- For example, one of the most successful tube upgrades in recent years was on the Victoria Line. It cost a fortune- £900m. It now carries 36 trains an hour and is widely considered fantastic. I can’t imagine anyone who uses it or benefits from it gives the cost a second thought.
- Andrew Sentance who sat on the HS2 review panel tells Evan Davis that the govt is using their report selectively, implies they’re trying to prepare the way for cancellation, something and the panel doesn’t think is a good idea.
- Also makes the point (which is surely right) that the idea we often hear, that HS2 should be cancelled and the £80bn or so would spent on other infrastructure projects in the midlands in north, is very far fetched.
Damn the torpedoes. Full speed rail ahead then. Lewis has spoken.