17 July 2013
Planning Professor John Tomaney gave evidence to the Parliamentary Committee on High Speed Rail 2 on Tuesday 9th July 2013. Prof. Tomaney's findings focused on whether the Government's claim that the HS2 will redress regional inequalities could be substantiated by way of comparisons with countries such as Spain, South Korea and Japan, where similar high speed rail networks have been developed to connect capital cities and provincial cities.
His report addressed the issue of likely economic impact on northern economies - something not well addressed in the wider HS2 debate. This involved looking specifically for evidence from the UK Government and elsewhere in the world to substantiate the the Government's claim that the HS2 would "heal the North-South divide."
Prof. Tomaney's report concluded that "it’s difficult to find robust evidence that HS2 will have a transformative impact on the economic geography of the UK." Instead he advocated the development of better regional transport systems which he argued would provide a more tangible economic boost to the northern cities than the HS2 would. He went on to conclude that the probable net economic benefits of HS2, given his comparative studies, would most likely flow to London and the South.
To see the full Parliamentary Committee meeting click on the video below. Prof. Tomaney's contributions are made at 10:57.