Bow Group Letter on HS2 Published in the Times Newspaper

On March 29th 2012 the Times Newspaper published the Bow Group's position on HS2, and the Government's decision to proceed with the project before consultations begin on airport policy. The full text is as follows:   Letters to the Editor, The Times Sir, Christian Wolmar is right that the UK urgently requires an integrated, strategic approach to transport. Report, ‘Stop the stumbling and start taking transport seriously’ March 27th.   It is, for instance, irrational that Government intends to proceed with HS2 - the biggest ever investment of public monies in a single project - before even a consultation begins on airport policy.   As the Bow Group's two recent reports on high speed rail and aviation point out, an integrated approach to Heathrow and HS2 could allow short haul European - not just domestic - flights to be replaced by high speed rail. That follows the successful model adopted by other European airports.    Frontier Economics have suggested additional aviation capacity of roughly 18% is entirely achievable by air/rail substitution and more efficient airport operations.  This would maintain Heathrow's competitiveness and secure the UK's global connectivity.   Whilst an incremental, cautious approach may not be as politically appealing as £50bn "Grands Projets," the UK can ill afford such grandiose schemes, especially those put together with a weak business case and with the signs of another Government project disaster in the making.   Yours faithfully,   Ben Harris Quinney Chairman, The Bow Group
Thursday, March 29, 2012