Council is not convinced HS2 would benefit the city

HS2 at Aire and Calder Navigation.'Artists impression by HS2 Ltd.

HS2 at Aire and Calder Navigation.'Artists impression by HS2 Ltd.

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Council bosses remain unconvinced that HS2 would bring any benefits to Wakefield, as they look to draft their response to government.

Council leader Coun Peter Box told a cabinet meeting on Tuesday that the city should be open to ideas that increase investment.

But the committee agreed that the government had not yet made a case for HS2 being the right sort of investment.

Deputy leader Coun Denise Jeffery told the meeting: “I don’t think the government has made the case yet. We need a lot more consultation on behalf of the people we represent.

“People have been struggling in certain areas. There are problems in rural areas like Crofton, Ryhill, Normanton and Altofts. These people need us to campaign on their behalf.”

Campaigners have criticised the proposed route of the high-speed network, which would take thundering trains just metres from Charles Waterton’s grave at Walton Hall and damage historical sites in Altofts.

And the benefits to the cityhave been questioned because trains would not stop here.

Cabinet member for environment and communities Coun Maureen Cummings said HS2 would not be beneficial to the district.

She said: “They talk about jobs in our area but I don’t think that’ll happen.

“I’d rather see money put back into the instrastructure of the railway as it is now.”

The issue will go before a full council meeting on Wednesday before the council submits its formal response.

And people are invited to an official public information event at Crofton Community Centre, on Wednesday, from 12pm until 8pm.