Today, (Thursday 9th March 2023), the Government sneaked out a two year ‘re-phasing’ of HS2 in a written statement to parliament, just as it was about to shut for the weekend.
Stop HS2 founder Joe Rukin responded:
“The statement from Government about the latest cutbacks to HS2 marks a further comedic implosion of this disastrous project, it would be hilarious if it weren’t so predictably tragic. They have had thirteen years and six attempts to get the design of Euston right, but now they say they will ‘take the time’ to get it right, completely ignoring what we have said from the start, that the station they want to build cannot possibly fit into the space they have got.”
“After cut after cut after cut, the Government is now promising to open a multi-billion pound railway which will only go from the centre of Birmingham to Wormwood Scrubs, which handily is the journey the management of HS2 Ltd should be taking.”
“HS2 has been an unmitigated disaster from start to finish, it is massively environmentally damaging, prohibitively expensive, unwanted, unloved and unneeded. It only exists because of hard lobbying from the construction industry who wanted to build the most expensive railway in world history and are directly responsible for many of the cost increases. HS2 is an absolute joke and this is only ever, as it always has, going to get worse and the project should be cancelled immediately.”
Penny Gaines, Chair of Stop HS2, said
“The latest Government statement is another blatant attempt to pretend everything is fine with HS2, just a bit of delay and cost pressure. Every single time the Government have tried to keep the budget down, they have either increased the cost or dropped parts of the project, or both. And the latest announcement continues this.”
“With the so called re-phasing of the Birmingham to Crewe section, the delays and downgrading of other parts of the project, the government is spending tens of billions to have a railway with two Birmingham stations and one in the suburbs of London.
“Rather than adding more delays to supposedly save costs, the Government should cancel HS2 in its entirety, ensure that the people who have lost homes and businesses to HS2 are paid in full the compensation they are due, and the damage to the environment that has already been done is made good.”
“Simply delaying it is like fiddling while Rome burns.”