Phil MeekinView Profile
Proposed high speed railway between London Euston, the Midlands, North West England, Yorkshire and potentially North East England and Scotland.
MPs have recently backed legislation enabling the HS2 high-speed rail between London and the West Midlands to be constructed. This is the first phase of the proposed high speed railway between London Euston, the Midlands, North West England, Yorkshire and potentially North East England and Scotland.
The proposed rail link has caused a lot of controversy so I decided to look into the facts myself. So I would be able to see what it would actually mean for my colleagues and I.
Living in the North and working for a National firm this obviously interests me. The proposed high speed rail link would mean I could get from my home in Sheffield to London at a whopping 225mph in 79 minutes. But currently it takes 125 minutes.
So, it would save 46 minutes each way from Sheffield to London. Well, that doesn’t seem that much, but add that up. There and back that’s 92 minutes of time we will save in a day. I’ll round it down to hour and a half for ease of reference. You’d only have to do that 5 times before you accounted a whole 7.5 hours that is a working day. If you travelled to London once every week for a whole year, you’d save yourself 78 hours. This adds up to just over 10 days work. From a business point of view you can’t really argue with those figures.
However, the next question is; are we paying for the time saved in the costs of tickets? Well, that’s yet to be answered, as prices have not been established yet.
And, it’s not just making it easier for me to get to London. It’s easier for people from the South to get to me. It will make it easier for clients and colleagues to visit our offices and vice versa. Which, in turn, potentially brings more business up North. However, this is all potential, big ‘if’s’ and ‘buts’ and hard to measure at this stage. The media has widely publicised how much this project costs (however pinning it down to a final figure is quite hard). The cost seems to be going up and up and up and a lot of people are questioning whether it’s all really worth it?
The project is set to create 40,000 jobs during the first phase and between 48,000 and 70,000 for phase two. So, in a depressed economic climate where people are struggling for work the prospect of creating jobs and new business is certainly one we shouldn’t dismiss lightly. All in all, this is all a bit whimsical at the moment. Without seeing how these facts and figures translate into actual jobs and actual economic growth it’s hard to measure the benefits.
The prospect excites me but I won’t be buying my season ticket for the HS2 just yet…in fact by the time it completes I’ll probably be considering where I can draw my pension from.
More Information: BBC news – HS2