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HS2 'ceased to be value for money' says MP

David Lidington has been reacting to news of the project's delay.

Published by Dan Gooding at 1:15pm 5th September 2019. 3-minute read.

HS2 'ceased to be value for money' says MP

Aylesbury's MP says HS2 has 'ceased to be good value for taxpayers' money'.

David Lidington has been reacting to news the project is years behind schedule and £26 billion over budget.

He says he'll be making his views 'very clear' to the HS2 review going on at the moment.

David said:

"I was not surprised by the news that HS2 is likely to be both late and over budget. I have been making the point for almost a decade now that HS2 suffers from chronic mismanagement and an obsolete business case.

"The news that it may cost the taxpayer an additional £26bn is shocking, although not surprising. It is clear from the behaviour of HS2 Ltd that they have been trying to cut costs and cut corners for the last several years.

"MPs from along the Phase One route have had to fight tooth and nail to improve compensation for constituents who have frequently been left with a house that they are unable to sell, at no fault of their own."

HS2 Rendering

Mr. Lidington said this has been combined with a lack of care for the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and small towns like Wendover in his constituency, which is 'a far cry' from the promises that have been made by HS2 Ltd of a line which respects and augments the local area.

He continued:

"When I have lobbied both the Transport Secretary and the Prime Minister for an intermediate station near Aylesbury, I have been told that it would make the line too slow. Yet, the Transport Secretary said on Tuesday that the business case for HS2 has been "founded on increasing capacity".

"If this is genuinely the case then I see no reason why there should not be a station near Aylesbury, as well as the East-West Cambridge Arc, to provide a benefit to the local area which is suffering so much during construction."

David said he is happy that the review happening into the project will have the power to stop it all together.

"I have been asked to comment as part of the review and I plan to make my concerns very clear.

"In my view, the best investment of the cost of HS2, in a time when public spending is likely to be tight, would be in improving links in the north of England. This would power-up the northern economy and could later be connected down to London in a number of years, if the business case was strong enough.

"I will keep constituents updated on the Oakervee Review and my submissions to it, on my website and facebook page."

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