I heard on radio 4 that the cost benefit analysis undertaken for HS2 did not take into account that lost hours of work should be moderated to take into account the benefits of working on the train. Hard to believe? I fear many tears before bed time linked to such a huge capital project. We are hardly the world’s best when it comes to running such things. This article proifiles the views of the Institute of Directors. It tells us:

Walker, publishing a survey of more than 1,300 business leaders, argued that the money could be better spent elsewhere. “Station upgrades, inter-city improvements, tunnels, electrification and capacity improvements should all be considered alternatives. It is time for the government to look at a thousand smaller projects instead of falling for one grand folly,” he said.

IoD members have growing concerns that the line will benefit London more than the regions for which HS2 supporters claim it offers a lifeline. Even when the costs of the scheme were said to be just over £30bn, at the start of the year, the organisation was warning that businesses needed convincing of its economic value.

Although Labour leaders still support the scheme, former grandees Lord Mandelson and Alistair Darling have said it should be scrapped. Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, said on Friday that there would be no “blank cheque” from a Labour Treasury.

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