Stop HS2 campaigners have responded to claims that it is an ‘essential heart bypass’ by saying it will not come in on time and on budget.
The statement came from transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin at a Conservative party conference today.
Stop HS2 campaign manager Joe Rukin responded by saying no one is ‘buying the idea’.
Mr Rukin said: “The official cost of the project went up by £10bn this summer and there is a bill before Parliament asking for an unknown amount of money just to be spent on design.”
He added: “David Cameron has said that cancelling HS2 will be ‘Betraying the North’, but he is betraying the North by promoting a project which will clearly suck more economic activity to London. That is why, after the name ‘HS2’ has become too toxic, that they are calling it a North-South railway, because it’s about getting from the North to the South. Many of the delegates to the Tory Conference will have come up on Cross Country Voyager Train, one of the worst excuses for a train there is on the network with 4 carriages leaving so many people standing, even on weekends, as I was. Try telling those passengers, who will get nothing from HS2 that longer trains are not needed to alleviate capacity constraints, when so many passengers are facing crush-hour conditions at the moment”
“Whenever there is any criticism of HS2 not, the Government put their fingers in their ears. They have now been there so long now that it seems they must be touching in the middle!”
Stop HS2 chair, Penny Gaines is calling on the government to look at HS2 more closely.
She added: “The big question is not whether HS2 can be built to any arbitrary budget or by any specific date. The big question is whether HS2 is the right thing to build - and the evidence is that it is not. We call on the Conservative ministers to step back and look closely at HS2, and then cancel it.”