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Simon Jenkins vs Andrew Adonis: should we scrap HS2?

A government white elephant—or an essential transport link for the North? Our contributors duke it out

A general view of an anti HS2 sign in Whittington, Staffordshire.

Yes — Simon Jenkins

High-Speed Two, the rail development that will connect London to Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and the East Midlands, was never a properly-planned railway. It was a political vanity project “sold” to David Cameron in 2010 as an alternative to a new runway at Heathrow, which he was then pledged to oppose. It swiftly attracted commercial lobbying and became a totem of the coalition government’s infrastructure machismo.

Higher speed is not regarded as a critical factor in…

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