Evidence that HS2 would promote economic growth or heal the north-south divide was “limited”, it added.
“Demand for HS2 has likely been overestimated by oversimplified government modelling,” the NEF said.
These are not good things to hear if you have already committed train loads of cash to the project. We took these points to Bernard Grubbins, chairman of the high speed rail support group “HS2 goes like a train”, whether the case for HS2 had been “sexed up like a dodgy dossier”.
“Not a bit”, he assured us, “its about speed, she’ll be thrusting her way from Birmingham to Euston faster than Mandy Rice-Davies”. “Wasn’t that only going to save about twenty minutes at best?” we asked. “Ah… but twenty minutes can be a very long time,” he winked, “just think what you could do with it”.
When I suggested you could boil six soft boiled eggs he replied, “You’d be better taking a cab into Soho, it’s just a mile and a half from Euston, that’s the nearest mainline station you know and you could get someone else to boil your eggs!”
What about the “North South Divide”, how would HS2 help reduce this imbalance. “It’ll mix things up a lot more,” he continued, “those Northern birds are always in the papers, half a bottle of vodka and a skimpy skirt, they make the pavements look irresistible to hot blooded Cockney boys”.
I suggested that it was a bit of a generalisation and that having been brought up in Yorkshire I didn’t see much difference myself. “Nonsense!” came his blurted reply, he then proceeded to enlighten me further, “Works the other way too,” he added, “them Sloane Ranger types, all taffeta and diamonds, they love a bit of rough don’t they? They’d love to get their mitts on them Geordie lads.”
This seemed to be all the proof we sought, that the need for HS2 was not being sufficiently understood by the public and that a little more hard evidence was required.
Think tank raises doubts over value of HS2 – BBC News
We know HS2 is a fiasco but why can’t government admit it? – The Guardian