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Falling benefits of HS2.

THE Government is continuing to enthusiastically back HS2 even though an official report has shown the estimated economic benefit of the PS50 billion project is falling.

A detailed 150-page report from the scheme's promoters HS2 Ltd showed that the benefit-cost ratio (BCR) for the full two-phase project is now estimated at 2.3 compared with a figure of 2.5 given in August 2012.

This means that for every PS1 spent, the wider economic benefit of the entire scheme will produce a benefit of PS2.30 compared with PS2.50 estimated last year.

Opponents of the scheme immediately seized on the lower figure as further proof, to them, that the project was a waste of money and should be scrapped.

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls said it was vital that costs "stacked up", but Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin stuck to his guns by saying the scheme would bring massive benefits to northern England and was great for commuters.
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Oct 30, 2013
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