Cheryl Gillan tells transport secretary to 'scrap HS2'
Former Welsh secretary Cheryl Gillan has launched an attack on HS2 and told the new transport secretary to scrap the scheme.
She added: “There has never been a vote in parliament on HS2 on whether it should go ahead and I do not believe that it should proceed. At over £32 billion it is too expensive and with an ever-falling benefit-cost ratio (currently standing at 1.2), the economic benefits have certainly not been proved yet.
“It is not good value for money for the taxpayer. The environmental damage to the protected landscape of the Chilterns would be immense, particularly in the South Heath and Great Missenden areas where cuttings would leave a scar across the AONB (Are of Outstanding Beauty).
However the prime minister backed HS2 in a parliamentary question yesterday, when he said the scheme needed to “go ahead for the good of the country”.
And transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin pledged his support to the HS2 scheme when he appeared in front of the transport select committee yesterday.
The government is due to publish further details about stage two of the scheme later this year, with the £32bn scheme set to see a new high speed line built initially between London to Birmingham and extending on to Leeds and Manchester, followed by links to Scotland.