Monday, 4 October 2010

Who benefits from HS2

On reflection, aside from my doubts about the overall benefits of HS2, it is puzzling that the transport secretary chose to highlight the benefits to the North East ("This great connectivity is fantastic news for the North East and other regions and will transform the economy").

Economic modelling of these wider impacts suggests that, if they do arise, it is likely because of the increased accessibility generated by the new high speed line. But a Y-shaped line to Manchester and Leeds surely means accessibility improves least for the North East? Perhaps there is some new "research" that suggests otherwise but to my mind, the spatial distribution of any gains is yet another uncertainty about these wider economics impacts.