Scrapped HS2 bike path ‘five times better value than HS2 itself’

Campaigners argue that the business case for the project was a ‘no-brainer’

A scrapped “emerald necklace” cycleway up the spine of the country alongside HS2 would have delivered a return on investment of up to five times greater than the rail project itself, an FoI request has revealed – but neither the government nor HS2 Ltd will fund it.

A 50-page report outlining the business case for the national cycleway, obtained by the Guardian, reveals health, congestion and economic benefits of between £3 and £8 per £1 spent. The return on investment of HS2 itself, meanwhile, is just £1.5-£1.7 per £1, according to the National Audit Office. Campaigners say completing the cycleway should have been a “no-brainer”.

Related: Government will miss its cycling target by a mile. It’s time to invest

Related: London’s new official plan for cycling is bold but has a major flaw

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