HS2: Parts of construction delayed for two years
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Delays to the Government’s infrastructure project HS2 high-speed rail line will increase costs in the long term and could push construction companies into bankruptcy, a leaked document obtained by the Labour Party has indicated. So, should the Government continue with HS2 or simply give up? Vote in our poll.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper announced last week that the timetable for completing HS2 would be pushed back to save costs, with sections of the line from Birmingham to Crewe and Crewe to Manchester being delayed by two years.
But Shadow Transport Secretary Louise Haigh said that a Department for Transport briefing note leaked to the Labour Party, first reported by The Times, had “blown apart” the money-saving claim and “laid bare the consequences of the decision”.
She told the House of Commons: “Is there anything more emblematic of this failed Government than their flagship levelling up project that neither makes it to the north or to central London. Isn’t it time the minister came clean? This absurd plan will hit jobs, hurt growth and cost taxpayers even more.”
She also claimed that trains could be forced to terminate on the outskirts of London instead of Euston station until 2041.
Conservative MP Jack Brereton claimed the scheme would mean a “huge amount of pain for little to no gain” for his constituents in Stoke-on-Trent. He said: “I’m extremely concerned- and many of the people I’ve heard from are extremely concerned – that phase 2 particularly is actually going to reduce capacity of some of those existing services.”
The Government did not comment on leaked documents. But Huw Merriman, rail and HS2 minister, said the Government needed to evaluate its portfolio as “public spending pressures” were impacting borrowing.
The cost of HS2 was estimated to be £32billion in 2010, but some estimates now put the total figure at over £100billion.
So what do YOU think? Should the Government give up on HS2? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
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