HS2 vanity project is an establishment folly too far

If you wanted to present one iconic example of the kind of extravagant folly that demonstrates the stupidity, verging on certifiable lunacy, that afflicts those who govern us, you could not ask for a more powerful illustration than the aberration that is the High Speed Rail Link from London to Birmingham (HS2).

Gerald Warner, "Reaction" Website

"Spending such a large sum on a single project that will only benefit a portion of the country is a criminal waste of scarce resources."
Sunday Telegraph Editorial

High-speed rail will bleed us all for a few rich travellers.  The politicians can drool over their new trains, but a crowded island needs a well-managed network, not an expensive fantasy.

The Guardian's Simon Jenkins

“I am a railway historian and, naturally a strong rail supporter. But even I have to recognise the compelling evidence that the [HS2] scheme cannot be justified. The cost, together with continued need for subsidy, is likely to cripple the economics of an industry that already receives more than £5bn of taxpayers money annually… upgrading the current line with longer trains and longer platforms would produce a similar increase in capacity for considerably less money.”
Christian Wolmar, writing in the Daily Mail

“The burning need in public transport is not for sexy, pointy nosed high speed supertrains, whose economics (and green credentials) simply don’t stack up. It’s for boring, unglamorous improvements to the quotidian services we actually use”
Telegraph's Andrew Gilligan

"If it’s ever built, which I doubt, the high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham will be the biggest white elephant since Nellie packed her trunk and trundled off to the circus."
Paul Routledge of the Daily Mirror