A staggering £40billion is to be spent on a High Speed 2 railway yet a Bury MP has warned the project will be an ‘unnecessary waste of money’ in 20 years.
David Nuttall, MP for Bury North, was one of the 21 Tory rebels to vote against the project, due to run by 2026, which was originally estimated at £33billion.
However, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced last week that the projected cost of High Speed 2 had increased by £9.6billion to cover the programme’s contingency costs.
Mr Nuttall said that he was not convinced that the case has been made at present to spend what is estimated to reach £50billion.
He told MM: “Already doubts are being cast on the economic case for HS2.
“When one considers how fast technology has progressed in the last twenty years I genuinely fear that in twenty years’ time this project will be regarded as having been an unnecessary waste of money as more meetings and conferences are held online.
“There are better ways large amounts of money could be spent on improving life for my constituents, very few whom will regularly use the proposed new service.”
Mr Nuttall added that he had spoken to voters in Bury and Ramsbottom who are opposed to the project.
“This fact alone suggests the project will receive very little scrutiny,” he said.
Despite Mr Nuttall’s protests, the plans have received backing from senior transport officials such as Shadow Secretary of State for Transport Maria Eagle and Transport Minister Simon Burns.
High Speed 2 is set to run from London to Birmingham with two branches to Manchester and Leeds planned by 2032.
Picture courtesy of Mick Baker via Flickr, with thanks