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Passenger forecasts - Govenment's Response the the House of Lord's Economic Affairs Committee

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The Government response to the House of Lords Economic Affairs committee, Cm 9078, says at paragraph 2.14, “Over 90 million passengers are expected to use HS2 each year once the full Y-network is complete - not just a few business people.  Phase One is expected to carry 138,000 passengers a day, rising to over 300,000 passengers a day in 2036 after Phase Two opens and the full Y-network is complete”.

Well, 300,000 per day equates to 150.000 each way.  They would require 150 one-thousand-seat trains or 12 per hour over 12 hours or a one-thousand seat train  every six minutes with every seat taken, which is ludicrous. 

After all, Virgin West Coast carries an average of only 200 passengers per train and the East Coast, 244 providing an average of 220 representing 56 million passenger journeys per year or 190,000 per day, not all of which would have one end in London. (Source, Office of Road and Rail statistics).

Why on earth does the Government believe this nonsense?  It’s not as bad as the £15 billion benefits per year from the scandalous KPMG report but it is in the same league.

(The KPMG figure implies every generated business plus commuter trip yields £1,860 or £3,700 per round trip.  To appreciate how ludicrous that is note that the £1,860, if applied to existing business plus commuter rail trips, would generates £1,500 billion pa equal to the nation’s entire GDP. If only that were true building a railway may rescue the nation.  Instead the railway takes massive subsidy from the taxpayer every year).

Perhaps the forecasts would be more realistic if those heading up HS2 Ltd (and their consultants) were liable to prosecution if the forecasts proved wildly wrong, as was the case with HS1, and as would arise if the matter were in support of a share offering.

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