HS2’s ‘green benefits’ could take 100 years, says its chief executive

The environmental benefits promised by HS2 could take around 100 years to materialise, according to the project’s head.

Mark Thurston, chief executive of HS2 Ltd - the government-owned company in charge of the rail development - told a conference of civil engineers last week that the overall benefit to the environment would not “play out” until well after the route is opened, which could be as late as 2040. 

The Telegraph reported over the weekend that Thurston told the engineers that HS2 had not “dialled up enough our carbon credentials” and that this was probably because a “huge amount of concrete is needed” to build the line. “So the net benefit doesn’t play out until some time after the railway is open,” he said. “If you took at 100-year view on it, it’s a green project.” 

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