BATA Comment on Government Approval for High Speed 2

January 10th, 2012

BATA’s response to the expected go-ahead from the Government for the High Speed 2 line from London to Birmingham is available here.

BATA Response to High Speed 2 Announcement

Responding to the news that the Government is set to give the go-ahead to the £17 billion HS2 line from London to Birmingham, Simon Buck, Chief Executive of the British Air Transport Association said:

“While this Government appears to recognise the value of investment in public infrastructure to improve domestic transport links, we deplore the absence of any similar commitment to boosting Britain’s links with the rest of the world. The Government appears eager to invest over £30 billion in building new railway lines in grandiose show-case schemes, cutting huge swathes through the English countryside, but at the same time has vetoed airport expansion where it is desperately needed because they say the environmental cost is too high. Despite its cost, HS2 will do nothing to improve the UK’s connectivity with the rest of the world or domestically, with more remote parts of the UK that will never be connected to high speed rail, such as Northern Ireland.

Our major airports are currently losing out on air routes and hence new business and jobs to our international competitors because they do not currently have the runway capacity needed to add in new services. New runway capacity would be privately funded and would not require public money, thus representing far better value for money than a hugely expensive new rail project. If the Government wants to kick start the UK economy, Ministers must break out of their “Little Britain” approach to transport infrastructure provision and recognise that the UK needs to develop its trading links to the growing economies of the world.”