(Last updated on: 28/07/2021)
Also known as High Speed 2, this planned form of transportation in the United Kingdom will have a huge impact on the face of transportation in the UK. HS2 is a proposed project to build a high-speed rail line from London to Manchester and Leeds, via Birmingham. Operation is set to begin in 2026 and be completed in 2032. HS2 will enable high-speed links to be developed from London to Birmingham from the West Midlands to Leeds/South Yorkshire/Manchester.
A significant development for UK travel
This rail line will be one of the most substantial transportation projects and structures ever in the history of the UK. HS2 will reduce the travel times from many of the UK’s major cities, and provide an essential link between these popular destinations. However, it has not been without its controversies.
High Speed 2 will travel at speeds of around 250 mph and will seat around 1,000 travelers. There will also be a few more stations planned in different locations such as in West London, Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Airport, and more. The trains will take on upwards of 14 trips an hour.
The negative impacts of HS2
While there are many people who are excited about this new addition to the transportation system, there are a good amount of UK residents who are vehemently against this rail system. For many people, the cost alone of the high-speed line is enough to turn them off from the project. It is estimated that the entire project will cost around £56 billion before it is completed, although many claim that this figure is likely to be at least double in reality. With the NHS in turmoil, significant budgets placed on the education sector, and not enough housing being built, there is a large number of people who think that this money could be better spent elsewhere.
Another concern that residents have expressed is the impact the line will have on nature and wildlife. With the space that is needed to construct this structure, one of the questions is how will the animals and plants be compromised or affected? Moreover, the HS2 development is already having a significant impact on society. Villages and local communities are being transformed, house prices on the rail route are becoming unaffordable for locals. There is also the unfortunate prospect of gentrification in said areas.
The positive impacts of HS2
Recently, the government addressed some of the positive impacts that this project will have on the economy in the UK. This enormous line will provide thousands of jobs for people living in certain areas of the UK. For the construction and for the running of the trains, many people will be needed to help make this line a success. This will positively impact the economy.
Another great thing about the High-Speed line is that commuters will have the opportunity to travel quicker than before. The aim is that this project will help to regenerate areas of the country that currently lose out to London and the South East. Tourists and visitors to the parts of the UK that will have the HS2 close by will also be able to visit even more areas in a much quicker time. This will also be a wonderful addition to the economy.
As with every new transport project, there are advantages and disadvantages to the HS2. There are still many questions to be answered and the process has only just begun in terms of building this structure.
What are your views? What do you think about the impact HS2 will have on the UK? Comment below!