Stop the train – it's madness

My hatred of the proposed High Speed Rail (HS2) link to London grows day by day. The plan has no business case, will wreck the environment and the lives of thousands of people on its route… and it could even bankrupt the country.
Yesterday Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced an amazing £9.9bn increase in the costs of the project, just hours after Chancellor George Osborne outlined £11.5bn of ‘essential’ cuts in his Spending Review.
The construction costs for Phase 1 will now cost £21.4bn, whilst Phase 2 will cost £21.2bn. These costs are already out of date as they are based on 2011 figures, with construction not due to start until 2017. Included in the £42.6bn is a £14.4bn contingency, which McLoughlin wrongly announced as being £12.7bn. DfT and HS2 Ltd officials have always said until now that the costs of HS2 would never increase because there was an £11.1bn contingency built into the previous cost.
Stop HS2 campaigner Joe Rukin said: “The casual way in which a 30% jump in the costs of HS2 has been announced by the Transport Secretary, which almost completely wipes out the cuts made in the spending review is unbelievable. We are now looking at a total cost of over £50bn on a train which will only benefit the richest in society.
“The DfT have always said the costs wouldn’t go up as there was an ample contingency built in, but now we know, like everything else which has been said about the case for HS2, that this was completely false. As Frank Dobson pointed out, there are still loads of items which have yet to be added into the costs and the costs for this project will only continue to spiral. To push ahead with HS2 blindly because it sounds like it must be a good idea is simply insane and a kick in the teeth to everyone affected by the cuts.
“The MPs who have voted for the blank cheque have only shown that they are totally out of touch with the common man, and HS2 Ltd have responded to the fact they are ten billion by saying they are ‘broadly within the envelope’. I don’t know what planet they are on, but I wouldn’t want to be picking up their stationery bill.”
Tell your MP to stop this madness now.

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