The Politics of HS2: UK’s next proposed fast train project

By omega centre on Jan 14

The Politics of HS2: UK’s next proposed fast train project

Prof. John Tomaney

Bartlett School of Planning, University College London

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The UK government claims that HS2 is critical to its objective of “rebalancing” the country’s economic geography. Despite the growing centrality of this claim to the case for HS2, until recently it received very little serious attention and was supported by virtually no evidence. As efforts were made to beef up the argument that HS2 is critical to the future of northern cities public support for the project declined. Yet a significant coalition of public and private actors continues to support the case for HS2 as an instrument of regional policy. This presentation examines these paradoxes and offers an explanation for them that stresses the ways in which political momentum can trump (the absence of) economic evidence.


Prof. John Tomaney is Professor of Urban and Regional Planning in the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London. Previously he was Henry Daysh Professor of Regional Development and Director of the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS), Newcastle University. He is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences at Monash University, Melbourne; Visiting Professorial Fellow at the University of New South Wales, Sydney; Visiting Professor in CURDS, Newcastle University; and is an Academician of the Academy of Social Science (UK). He is also a Fellow of the Regional Australia Institute. He was educated at the London School of Economics, University of Sussex and University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He has published over 100 books and articles on questions of local and regional development. John’s research has been principally concerned with development of cities and regions as socioeconomic, political and cultural phenomena and the role of public policy in the management of these.

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[google_map title=”Location” lat=”51.526792″ lon=”-0.129855″ zoom=”15″ address=”Room G01, Central House, 14 Upper Woburn Place” city=”London” zip=”WC1H 0NN” country=”United Kingdom”]

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All are welcome and participation is free with no need to book

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