Latest Issue

The waiting room: is there a future for HS2?

Britain’s journey to high-speed rail travel has been costly, complex and steeped in denial. Now HS2 has been put on hold. Should it be saved?

A costly folly—or a vital infrastructure project? The inside story of HS2. Photo: Prospect composite

This summer, I took the 9.23am Virgin Trains peak service from London Euston to Birmingham New Street, calling at Coventry and Birmingham International. Euston is set off from a main, trafficky road behind a square of plane trees and a park obscured by long stretches of construction hoardings. I walked past large yellow signs: “No Pedestrian Access to Melton Street or Euston Road.” At the bottom of the hoarding was printed the reason: HS2.

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect