Where has HS2 gone wrong?

- Leadership - Jul 18, 2017

HS2 – or High Speed 2 – is a rail line connecting major cities in the UK. The project has caused controversy since its conception as the Y-shaped rail system has been set to carve up the country, upsetting residents in the relevant areas.

The latest drama has been caused by the news that some newly-built homes in Yorkshire will be demolished by the eastern route between Leeds and Birmingham, vexing those who were set to move in.

Dr. Michael Synnott, a Senior Teaching Fellow at Warwick Business School researches high speed rail in Europe, and believes that the project started off on the wrong foot.

He said: "HS2 has the potential to bring benefits to the UK, but really it is starting at the wrong end of the country. Phase one, connecting London to Birmingham, is only going to add to the extensive CV of London, which has no problem bringing in business.

"If we really want to devolve power to the regions and boost the economy outside of London, phase one should be starting in Manchester.


“Manchester is proving to be economically competent so why not give it the means to get into London and the rest of Europe. This will be the real benefit of HS2, connecting parts of Britain to London and Europe, this will bring them closer to investors’ wishes.

"Manchester is very ambitious and a high-speed railway will give it the means to achieve this, it needs to be interchangeable with London in the minds of investors.

“There is a lot of evidence that high speed rail connections see a country’s economy become dissipated and dissolved, spreading economic investment to wider areas, instead of concentrated so much in one place or city, as we have with London.

“Phase one will connect to Birmingham, but this is not about shortening travel times, only 20-30 minutes will be shaved off the journey to London. It is already the backroom of the London economy, with accounting, marketing, and other services centred there and this will be strengthened.

"Manchester and the north will have the most to gain from HS2 and its connection to it needs to be speeded up.”

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