Surveys Find Lack Of Support for HS2 Scheme

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1st November 2013 17:39 - Transport and Distribution

According to a recently published survey by Korn/Ferry Whitehead Mann, half (49%) of the thirty-four FTSE bosses polled did not want the HS2 to be built, compared with a third (33%) who voted in support of the scheme. High Speed 2 (HS2) is a planned high-speed railway between London Euston and the English Midlands, North West England, West Yorkshire and potentially Scotland.

Findings also show that more than a third of bosses have changed their mind about the scheme with one FTSE leader describing the project as “increasingly lunatic”.

Korn Ferry partner Dominic Schofield, said:

“There’s clearly a shift towards a view that this is not a good project… The fact that this is being put across by some of Britain’s biggest business leaders shows that the government has a job to do in convincing companies on the business benefits.”

In addition, a separate survey of fifty-two Yorkshire SMEs by accountancy firm Haines Watts revealed that two thirds (67%) are against HS2, with many owner-managers wanting to see more immediate investment in regional schemes.

Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, has suggested that the HS2 budget, which some analysts expect to reach, £50 billion, would be better spent elsewhere.

However, Andy Clarke, president and CEO of supermarket giant Asda, said:

“There’s no doubt in my mind that improving public transport infrastructure is vital to economic growth. Britain has always been a nation of railway pioneers – our railways are some of the oldest in the world.”

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