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HS2 fails to capture Paxman’s heart

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No longer able to attack politicians on Newsnight, Jeremy Paxman has turned his attention to a much bigger, less animate target: the construction of High Speed 2.

The presenter used column inches in the Financial Times to savage the proposed rail link, describing it as a ‘grotesque waste of taxpayers’ money … based on not much more than back-of-an-envelope calculations’ which would see ‘great tracts of concrete laid across the countryside.’

Paxman likened the project to Germany’s expansion of the autobahns in the 1930s, adding: ‘How on earth are we even contemplating this scheme?’

The television star, who admitted he lived ‘some 10 miles from the proposed line’, also took the opportunity to lambast the management of other recent UK mega-projects, including Richard RogersWelsh Assembly building, which ballooned in cost from £12 million in 1997 to £69.6 million by the time it opened in 2006.



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