Sir, There is a misperception in Graham Nalty’s letter (November 20) regarding High Speed 2 that needs clarification.

Transport improvements do not generate high quality, knowledge-based jobs per se. These improvements enhance the desirability of some places relative to other places. It is only an innovative society, with a well-educated and stable or expanding population, that is capable of generating the jobs and living standards we all wish to see.

A safe, speedy and energy efficient transport system plays an important role in spatially ordering that dynamism when it exists. However, in its absence, aside from construction jobs, HS2 has no magical economic powers of sustained job creation.

In a low growth or stagnant economy such investments are a locational zero sum game, at best.

Elliott Sclar

Director, Center for Sustainable Urban Development,

Earth Institute – Columbia University,

New York, NY, US

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