MPs have voted to approve initial funding for HS2 railway line. It means that prep work, including the violent eviction of property owners, can go ahead.
There’s little point to it, cutting the time between London and Manchester by a marginal amount, while the cost/benefits looks worse as time goes by. The government’s latest estimate of the capital to be squandered has recently risen to £46 billion. There’s opposition from many, including some Tory MPs whose constituents will either be kicked off their own land or have it blighted.
So why is the government pushing ahead with this pointless scheme? Because the EU wants it. It’s a part of what’s called a Trans-European Network, essentially a Grand Project of transport links and networks across the continent. This map shows where it all fits in.
When you next hear a government minister on the wireless defending the scheme (or an infrastructure sector rep whose job it is to talk government into giving our money to his clients) remember that it’s happening only because the EU has ordered it.