Autumn Statement: Hunt continues commitment to HS2
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
You can add your voice to the tens of thousands of comments posted daily on Express.co.uk and have your say on the big issues facing the country today.
The Euston terminus of the route may be delayed or even scrapped altogether as part of a plan to reduce the amount needed to complete the project, The Sun reports.
Passengers travelling on HS2 would be dropped off in the suburbs of west London and have to take the Underground to reach the heart of the city. The possibility of a scale back has also raised fears about the future of HS2 connections to Manchester and Crewe from Birmingham.
Concerns over the amount being spent on HS2 have been raised over a number of years. The Public Accounts Committee stated in 2021 that the estimated cost of completing High Speed 2 is between £72-98 billion (2019 prices), compared to an original budget of £55.7 billion in 2015 (2015 prices).
Reacting to the news of the potential scale back, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “It beggars belief that the Government can spend tens of billions of pounds on a new railway from London to the North – and for it not to actually reach central London.”
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen posted on Twitter: “Time and time again I have voted and spoken out against this white elephant project. We should not be surprised by this news about HS2.”
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt today rejected the reports and insisted that the project will reach central London. When asked whether the Government is committed to the route reaching Euston, he said: “Yes we are and I don’t see any conceivable circumstance in which that would not end up at Euston.”
Either way, the project has come under fire over the amount of money being pumped into getting it finished. The Government describes HS2 as the most important economic and social regeneration project in decades, and a key component of its levelling up agenda designed to reduce regional inequalities.
The row over the project comes just days after IPPR North published a report claiming that “severe regional inequalities endure” in the UK, as well as backlash from MPs about how the Levelling Up Fund has been distributed around the country.
So, do you think HS2 should be scaled back to cut costs?
HAVE YOUR SAY RIGHT NOW – JOIN THE EXPRESS READER DEBATE IN OUR COMMENTS SECTION.
Source: Read Full Article