“No economic case for HS2... it will destroy jobs and force businesses to close.”
Institute of Economic Affairs
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2. What makes HSUK at least 25% cheaper to construct than HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail combined?
There are several reasons for HSUK’s massively lower construction costs:
HSUK’s more efficient ‘spine and spur’ configuration links far more communities, and requires a shorter length of new construction.
HSUK’s design for generally lower maximum speeds allows it to follow existing transport corridors (such as the M1) where construction costs are lower. Sites are more accessible, requirements for environmental protection are lower and the topography is more favourable, requiring fewer tunnels and viaducts.
By contrast, the design of HS2’s infrastructure for future 400km/h operation (which would make it the fastest railway in the world) has introduced huge and unnecessary costs.
HS2’s 400km/h design standard has dictated intrusive and controversial rural routes (such as the proposed route through the Chilterns AONB) where access is poor, environmental mitigation costs are high and the topography is difficult, requiring unprecedented lengths of tunnel and viaduct.