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Monday, 27 June 2011

The economic case for HS2

Today we see the opening of the M74 extension in Glasgow built at a cost of £657m, which works out at £131m per mile or £75,000 a yard.

In July this will be trumped by the even more costly A3 tunnel at Hindhead in Surrey. A four-mile section of dual carriageway is being added, but the vast bulk of the £371m cost is concentrated on the 1.2 mile (1.9km) tunnel. It is the longest subterranean road in the UK, costing around £300m, equivalent to £170,000 per yard.

The HS2 by comparison is estimated to cost £390 billion and will have an overall length of about 300 miles. I make that £56,818 per yard, running up the spine of the country, not in some sleepy Surrey backwater or in the world capital of cocaine consumption.

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