HS2 engine for growth

This speech was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

HS2 engine for growth video transcript explaining the benefits and challenges of HS2.

HS2 enine for growth A modern transport network is essential.


It’s the circulation system of the nation.

It must be healthy and free flowing. But today, it’s becoming clogged.

Railways are crowded, roads congested, the population is growing, and demand for travel is rising.

The new north-south line, HS2, is like a bypass, easing the strain on the clogged arteries of the system.

It will provide the capacity of a 12-lane motorway, but only take the space of a dual carriageway.

And it will stimulate growth in towns and cities across Britain.

But projects this size need clear justification. The £42 billion budget includes contingency, and will be spread over decades; for a line that will repay two pounds for every pound spent.

HS2 will not be built at the expense of other transport – much more is being spent on roads and existing railways than on HS2.

Some believe technology will remove the need to travel. But despite the emergence of social media, Skype and smartphones, UK rail passenger journeys have doubled.

Alternatives to HS2 wouldn’t deliver enough capacity and would require years of closures and disruption. But concerns about the impact of the line deserve to be heard, and where we can adapt our plans, we will.

There’s a high-speed train from London to Brussels, but not Birmingham. To the Alps, but not to Manchester.

That has to be wrong. Britain can only grow properly if it grows together. The new line will revitalize Britain’s rail network, provide better connections for 18 of our biggest towns and cities and create jobs, homes and business.

But it’s not just a new line. It’s an engine for growth …providing a £15 billion annual boost to the economy, for a closer, growing Britain.