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How not to do mega-projects

Another great article for evaluation of supply-side projects - great to create a 'criteria' against which other policies can be measured for success or failure.


It critiques the HS2 project after it was reduced to a London-Birmingham line. Highlighting its diminished utility and enormous costs, the piece suggests Britain should streamline its infrastructure project processes, drawing lessons from France’s efficient system. It advocates for stable political backing, improved engineering expertise, and simplified legislative frameworks to avoid HS2's costly missteps in future projects.


Some possible questions:

  1. What was the original purpose of the High-Speed 2 (HS2) project?

  2. How long was the HS2 railway supposed to be, and which cities was it intended to connect?

  3. What led to the significant downsizing of the HS2 project?

  4. As of the article's writing, what has the HS2 project been reduced to?

  5. What are the expected costs per kilometre for the HS2 project?

  6. Why has the remaining section of the HS2 project been criticised as being both expensive and unnecessary?

  7. What did Kier Starmer promise regarding the HS2 project?

  8. What specific section of the HS2 track does the article suggest Sir Keir Starmer should commit to completing?

  9. According to the article, how has the British approach to legislating big projects been problematic for HS2?

  10. What does the article suggest Britain could learn from France in terms of managing national infrastructure projects?

  11. What impact has constant political intervention had on the HS2 project, according to the article?

  12. How does the article suggest future big projects should be protected from political fiddling?

  13. What does the article say about the British state's engineering expertise in relation to large infrastructure projects like HS2?

  14. What is the legacy that the HS2 project should leave behind, according to the article?

  15. The article mentions "meaningful" views passengers will have during their journey on HS2. How long are these views expected to last, and what does this imply about the journey's scenic value?




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