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The Guardian view on HS2: let the train take the strain | Editorial

05.02.2020
Příroda
HS2 is well behind schedule and over budget. It can only work as part of an integrated transport plan designed to cut carbon"When in a hole, stop digging" is an iron law of politics, but not one that Boris Johnson recognises. He made his name by flouting conventional wisdom and gives the impression there's no reason to stop. In the case of High Speed 2 - a railway where costs have doubled to around ?100bn - he joked to schoolchildren last week that with a hole this big "the only thing to do is keep digging". Yet Mr Johnson knows the arguments are finely balanced: between those who claim the scheme will be an economic boost for a country far too reliant on the south-east and highly polluting forms of travel, against those who say it is not the most cost-effective or the greenest solution to the problems it is intended to solve.Mr Johnson has yet to make a convincing case for proceeding with the project - which his chief adviser calls a "disaster zone". Instead the prime minister has hidden behind a review that he launched last August and leaks suggesting that Douglas Oakervee, the former HS2 chairman reporting to Mr Johnson, strongly "advised against cancelling the project". There's no doubt HS2 has been mismanaged and is well behind schedule and over budget. More than ?7bn has been sunk into the project. The first trains were supposed to run by 2026 but won't pull out of stations before 2028. The project's objectives are pretty clear: to increase capacity on the railway to meet long-term demand; to rebalance the economy by stimulating growth in the north of England; and to do both of these things in the most environmentally sustainable way possible. But is HS2 the answer to the questions raised? Or would a better reply be to scrap it and start with something else? Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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