Alliance of councils statement
Alliance of councils issue statement on latest HS2 announcement
The group of 18 Councils known as 51m stated that they agree with the Prime Minister that the country needs investment and growth in it's infrastructure but it is needed now, not in 2033. Behind the 'spin' the reality is that the business case for HS2 has collapsed, the capacity argument has been exposed in the High Court and the economic benefits are not supported by any serious economists. HS2 will cost taxpayers an eye watering £33bn, equivalent to the country's entire defence budget, and yet has been shown conclusively to be poor value for money.
Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire County Council and Chairman of 51M said: "There are far better, quicker and cheaper ways of upgrading our existing rail network to provide the capacity needed. These would free up capital to invest in regional road and rail infrastructure projects that people actually need and use around the whole country. This would bring growth and jobs now when they are needed".
"A major concern that we have is that many towns and cities will be shocked to discover that they will actually receive a poorer train service if HS2 is built. Stations such as Toton Sidings and Meadowhall are far from city centres. West Coast Main Line and Midland Main Line services to many existing stations are certain to be reduced. At the same time HS2 will blight the lives, property and businesses of tens of thousands of people. Houses will be unsaleable and jobs lost across the Midlands and elsewhere. Only those directly on the route will receive compensation. Those nearby will have to wait until 2034 at the earliest to see if they get anything".
Last updated Tuesday, 24th November 2015