Labour party commit to quarter of a trillion pounds on high speed rail

Labour party commit to quarter of a trillion pounds on high speed rail

In the Labour party manifesto launched today, the Labour party commit to “extend high-speed rail networks nationwide by completing the full HS2 route to Scotland, taking full account of the environmental impacts of different route options”

With the latest cost estimate for HS2 from rail industry expert Michael Byng being £106bn to get to Leeds and Manchester, to extend it to Scotland could easily cost over £250 billion, which equates to over one quarter of a trillion pounds.

Joe Rukin, Campaign Manager for Stop HS2, said

“Today Jeremy Corbyn berated Margaret Thatcher for allowing corporate interests to set government policy, but in supporting HS2, he is doing exactly the same thing. This project has only got this far because it has been lobbied for by people who intend to make billions of pounds out of building it and from the associated land grab.

“It is now accepted across the board that HS2 is around £50bn over budget. To put that in context in the global financial crisis it cost £38bn to bail out the banks, supposedly responsible for ten years of austerity.

“It is time that politicians woke up and realised that this project is a multi-billion pound fraud.”

Penny Gaines, Chair of Stop HS2, said

“HS2 is a massive environmental catastrophe, causing damage to sensitive wildlife sites and woodland along the entire planned route from central London to Manchester and Leeds. And in building a Green economy surely a fundamental point would be to decrease long distance travel rather than boosting it.

“Extending the route will just cause more damage in more places. Whilst the Labour party talk about planting more trees, HS2 will cause damage and destruction to 108 ancient woodlands along the existing route.

“HS2 Ltd’s own documents show that construction will cause massive carbon emissions, and it will be causing increased carbon emissions for 120 years after opening. In a time of global environmental emergency, HS2 is the wrong project to be pushing through.

“We are hugely disappointed that the Labour party have been taken in by this project which should be cancelled immediately.”

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