The HS2 Debate
We wanted to hear our panel members views on HS2, the proposed high speed rail network. We were intrigued to find out if any of the panel felt that HS2 would benefit the UK economy and if they thought it was worth the amount of money being spent on it.
The majority of the panel thought that HS2 would be a benefit and attribute to the UK.
The panel members that were in favour of the high speed railway felt that it would help UK businesses and provide hundreds of new jobs, therefore helping the UK economy to thrive. They also suggested that it would help to breach the gap between the North and the South because it will make travelling around the UK a lot more efficient. “I actually live in the midlands. For me it would be really beneficial as I would be able to get to the South a lot quicker than currently.” (Nikki, Strattford, 39)
“It will breach the gap between the North and the South I believe because at the moment there is (from personal experience from living in both) there is a surplus of jobs down South, so it will enable people to travel there and still live in the North.” (George, Ipswich, 23)
The panel also felt that it would help to reduce traffic on England’s very busy roads. “As there are more and more cars on the road I think it’s an excellent idea to invest in a bigger and better railway.” (Simon, Brighton, 46)
“The HS2 is quite vital for the UK to become a more integrated country and to allow business to diversify across the country. We are far too London centric in this country and there have been good moves recently to create hubs in Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh but more can be done.” (Rupert, London, 42)
A smaller number of the panel were less keen on the idea of HS2 feeling that it was pointless and a waste of money that would be spent on more worthwhile things. They felt that it was something that would take a long time before anyone saw the benefits of the investment.
“I don’t think the HS2 is a good idea, there is always going to be a North/South divide and it won’t make any difference at all.” (Mark, Rugby, 44)
People felt that building the railway was going to be too disruptive and would damage the countryside and the environment. The panel were also concerned about the price of the tickets for this new railway. They commented on train tickets being too expensive already and if normal people would really be able to afford to use these new trains. They would want to see tickets being priced fairly.