HS2

03 September 2019

ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, has backed HS2 in the wake of government announcements about – and renewed criticism of – the rail project today.

 

Mick Whelan, ASLEF’s general secretary, said: ‘Labour created HS2 but the project has been managed – and badly mismanaged – by the Conservative Party. We need HS2 – but we need it done properly. It needs to go to Heathrow, and it needs to go to Scotland.

 

‘Passengers and business in Britain have been hampered by the lack of investment in the infrastructure of our country. Our railway is running at full capacity. We need to modernise our network and bring it into the 21st century.

 

‘The Tories talk the talk but, when it comes to infrastructure and public services, never walk the walk. Whether it’s electrification, rolling stock or, now, HS2, they pull the plug after millions or even billions have already been spent.

 

'There will be no Northern Powerhouse and no clean, green future for this country  if HS2, even in its current form, does not go ahead.

 

Mick was speaking after Grant Shapps, the Secretary of State for Transport, admitted that the first phase of HS2, which was due to open in 2026, will be delayed by up to five years. He also said the cost has soared from £62 billion to between £81 and £88 billion. The second phase, to Manchester and Leeds, which was due to open in 2032, has been pushed back until 2040. It is also in the light of a government review ‘to go or no-go’ which will report by the end of the year.

 

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