Hyperloop Virgin

Richard Branson and Elon Musk are, to my mind, two of the most exciting people in business. Both are charismatic visionaries, who have a knack for attracting funding against the odds. So when Branson announced last week that he is backing Musk’s Hyperloop project, one should take notice. The time cost of distance is what shapes our cities and countries, and as transport gets quicker so our cities get closer and their ecosystems converge. If you can travel anywhere in the UK within an hour, then does the UK really just become one city, and what does that mean for local government? The technological and safety challenges associated with Hyperloop are significant, so some believe that we are 20 years away from delivery. But for perspective, that is around the same time horizon as predicted for delivery of Crossrail 2 and Phase 2 of HS2, for which we are actively planning. As technology lifecycles shorten, so the challenge is on our infrastructure planning to keep pace.