Public support for HS2 hits new low says poll

April 15 2015  

Public support for HS2 hits new low says poll
Less than a quarter of people in Britain supports construction of High Speed 2 from London to Manchester at the project’s current estimated cost, results of a new poll have suggested.
The survey, conducted by pollster ComRes, shows that just 22% of the 2049 respondents would back the scheme at a cost of £50Bn. Only 13% said they would support HS2 if the cost rose to £70Bn, while 7% showed support for a £100Bn project.
HS2 Ltd – the company responsible for developing and promoting the project – declined to comment on the survey. But Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has said that building HS2 will create extra space on the rail network, generate jobs and support business.
The survey also asked respondents to identify which policies, out of a list of eight including HS2, should be the highest priorities for Government spending.
Results revealed that 7% see the project as among the top four priorities, compared to 11% who included improved transport links between Northern cities in their top four and 92% who identified the National Health Service.
Stop HS2 chair Penny Gaines said: “HS2 is a £50Bn white elephant. The economic case uses outdated assumptions about business travel, and building it will be hugely environmentally damaging."
The survey was carried out on behalf of AGHAST - a national body coordinating opposition to HS2.
♦ Britain is set to invest more money (£179Bn) in road and rail construction projects in the coming years than any other major economy in Europe apart from Russia, according to a new report.
The study by the Timetric Construction Intelligence Center cited Crossrail, Crossrail 2, HS2 and a new Inner Orbital road route in London as helping to push the UK up the rankings.
(Photo: HS2)

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