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Pros and Cons of UK’s High Speed Two Rail Project

Unless you’ve been hiding in a cave for the past year or so, it’s no secret that the project has its controversies. But is it blown out of proportion? Here at Maxim Recruitment, HS2 is in our good books as one of the most exciting UK based Civil Engineering projects in the near future, but firstly, if you have been in that cave and you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, here are some cold, hard facts about the venture.

  • Construction is planned to begin in 2017The route of phases 1 & 2 of the proposed HS2 rail service linking London Manchester and Leeds.  Source: BBC.com
  • While completion of the entire network is due to be finalised in 2033
  • Phase One of the project will begin at London Euston and end at the newly proposed Curzon Street Station in Birmingham
  • Phase Two will split into two branches; A Western section to Manchester Piccadilly, and the Eastern section heading to the proposed Leeds New Lane station
  • But what about the East Midlands? There will be an East Midlands Hub which serves Derby, Nottingham & Leicester, and the Meadowhill Interchange, which will serve Sheffield
  • The total cost is estimated to be £43 billion, but there are possibilities of the rise in costs as the project develops
  • Politically, HS2 is supported by Labour, Conservative & the Liberal Democrats but opposed by the Greens & UKIP

Now that we know the facts, let’s look at why there is opposition, and what exactly HS2 means for the future of rail in England

Pros

  1. Roads are becoming increasingly crowded, for example, the M1 at rush hour is an incarnation of hell on Earth, HS2 will encourage more people to travel via train, thus reducing congestion in cities. Therefore it isn’t just public transport users that will benefit from HS2, we all will.
  2. HS2 will provide a whole heap of new construction jobs and will inspire a generation of future workers.
  3. Journey times from London, to the second largest city in England, Birmingham will be less than one hour.
  4. The cost of the project will be spread out over 15-20 years. That means it’s much more affordable.
  5. The 1bn-2bn annual investment will stimulate economic activity.
  6. It will take traffic away from short-distance air travel, reducing our carbon footprint.
  7. For those worried about the environment, ‘green tunnels’ will be used and trees planted.
  8. Empirical evidence has shown that increased train use can have significant positive effects on lowering pollution, reducing the rate of road accidents and lowering the infant mortality rate.
  9. Trains have a much better safety record than vehicles on the road.
  10. It will create 22,000 construction jobs in the next 5 years.
  11. Not only will it create 2,000 apprenticeships and 100,000 jobs over the span of the project, part of the HS2 project involves inspiring young, female engineers in a male-dominated sector.
  12. HS1 was a resounding success, so why wouldn’t HS2 be as successful?
  13. Who wouldn’t want to ride a train moving at face-melting speeds of over 250mph?

 Cons

  1. Other alternatives such as increasing train length on existing routes are perhaps more feasible, although funding commissions on building larger platforms & new train carriages across existing routes will also be incredibly costly.
  2. HS2 may only benefit people in larger cities, however this is where the larger populations of commuters reside.
  3. Benefit of speed for commuters may be overrated, in this day and age, people work during commute on their laptops, tablets and phones, but we all know that the most work gets completed at the office.
  4. In an era of austerity, spending significant amounts on a rail service maybe should not be a high priority. But with the long-term economic benefits, this con may well be dismissed.

It seems as though the economic benefits of HS2 are too good to pass up, environmental problems, although a concern, have seemingly been solved, and here at Maxim Recruitment, we can’t wait to be part of the project that will revolutionise the future of travel in the UK.

Please submit your CV to us if you would like to discuss this and other exciting projects in the UK.

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Shay Williams
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Maxim Recruitment

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