RIA responds to announcement that the Birmingham to Crewe leg of HS2 will be delayed by two years to cut costs
Following the announcement today that the Birmingham to Crewe leg of HS2 will be delayed by two years to cut costs, Darren Caplan Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association, said:
“Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced just last November that he was committed to delivering HS2. This was welcome news following the scrapping of both the Eastern Leg from Leeds to Birmingham, and the cancellation of the Golborne Link, to enable high speed trains to get from the Northern Leg of HS2 to Scotland.
“So it is clearly disappointing to hear of this delay, which seems to prioritise short-termism over a structured, long-term strategy for what is Europe’s biggest infrastructure project. The delay postpones the immense benefits the project is set to deliver for the country, including extra capacity, more economic growth, improved connectivity – driving levelling up – and hundreds of thousands of jobs specifically in the Midlands and the North, and also to other parts of the UK more widely.
“This stop-start approach to a project is an inefficient use of taxpayers’ money, and could ultimately drive the project's costs up, which is the opposite of what the Government is trying to do. We strongly urge the Government to push on with delivering the full HS2 scheme, including the Eastern Leg and the Golborne Link, or its replacement, as soon as possible.”