From Hansard, 5th September 2013: debate about the North East Independent Economic Review report
Mr Kevan Jones (North Durham) (Lab):
The report [North East Independent Economic Review report] appears to give tentative support for High Speed 2, although it does not actually do so, because it admits that the north-east will benefit the least. That is true: HS2 will be a complete disaster for the north-east of England. We have heard about a wish list of transport projects—including a Teesside metro and others—if HS2 goes ahead, but I would say forget it, as that will not happen. What we need is real investment and increased capacity on the east coast main line. Back in 1980, the then British Rail did an experiment, clearing all traffic off the east coast main line. Journey times from Edinburgh to King’s Cross came down to three hours, and from Newcastle to just over two hours. That is what we have to do—invest in that, not in the vanity project for which this Government have fallen. It was dreamed up by Lord Adonis, who I do not think has ever been elected to anything—apart from when he was milk monitor at school.