Letter - I agree with the HS2 ‘grand folly’ critics

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I recently wrote expressing my concerns as to how this government could justify spending billions of pounds on the proposed HS2 train project when the country was in a time of austerity measures with spending cuts being applied to nearly every government department and local authorities having millions cut from their budgets.

This week we have seen the MP for Wakefield Mary Creagh appointed as the shadow transport secretary under Ed Miliband. She has stated that the ‘HS2 project has been totally mismanaged’.

This comment, coming so soon after her colleague Ed Balls the shadow chancellor speaking at the Labour Party conference, signalled that Labour could scrap HS2 if it regains power in 2015. He went on to say that there would be ‘no blank cheque’ for HS2 if Labour were in power.

Rachael Reeves the shadow chief secretary to the treasury has stated that if Labour were in power they could scrap the project if it was no longer ‘good value for money and costs continue to rise’.

The former Labour chancellor and transport secretary Alistair Darling has already warned that the project was ‘foolish and could easily run out of control’. He has been quoted as saying that he no longer supports the proposed HS2 project albeit when he was in power he was in favour of it .

The powerful Commons committee, The Treasury Select Committee, has once again expressed concerns about the spiraling costs saying that they have ‘serious shortcomings’ about the project recommending that it be ‘put on hold’.

The HS2 project has been branded as ‘foolish’ and ‘a grand folly’ by its critics. I have to say I totally agree with these two comments.

This project is estimated to cost in the region of £42.6bn and a further £7.5bn for the trains. Most of us realise that this will spiral and there is talk that it could eventually cost the country £80bn money we can’t afford.

When will Ed Miliband and the rest of Labour Party speak out publicly against HS2?

Are the Labour Party going to stand back and keep their mouths shut whilst millions of pounds are being spent trying to persuade the country that HS2 will bring economical benefits to the North?

Why hasn’t he spoken out against the project?

I guess we will all have to wait and see what is going to happen. I only hope they soon wake up and realise that if they don’t do something soon it will be too late and they, along with David Cameron, will have committed this country to years of hardship while we try to repay the debt they have got us in to.

Robert Burgess

Bannockburn Way