New Loops

Elon Musk’s 700 mph hyperloop project took a step forward last week, as its team set out nine potential European routes that could be used to connect 75m people across 44 cities. For the UK, this offers three possibilities: (1) a 50-minute trip from London to Edinburgh via Birmingham and Manchester, (2) a 47-minute ‘Northern Arc’ from Liverpool to Glasgow via Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh, and (3) a 50-minute journey from Cardiff to Glasgow. Whereas this is some way from fruition, reducing the time taken to commute between our major cities has significant potential to change the UK’s value map, and impact on the relativity of property values and commuting options. Being able to travel from London to Manchester in less than 20 minutes (less than the current commute from Woking) is a game changer, which makes HS2 appear redundant before it has been built.