The campaign welcomes PM’s emphatic HS2 commitment – and calls Spectator’s u-turn claims “deluded and 100% Tory party internecine politics”
The campaign today welcomes the Prime Minister’s reaffirmed commitment to HS2. The Prime Minister, at today’s PMQs, said “I believe we should go ahead with HS2. I think it’s very important for the economy of our country and it is important that we get on board this high-speed rail revolution.”
The PM’s support comes the day before The Spectator is due to carry a front cover implying that the Government are set to do a u-turn on HS2 (see here). The Spectator’s claim that the coalition is set for a u-turn is purely speculative and, once again, is not based on the facts.
As well as the PM’s reaffirmed commitment today, there are plenty of other reasons and pieces of evidence which illustrate that these claims are untrue. By way of a few other examples:
- Million pound contracts have been issued in the last few months by HS2 Ltd.
The hybrid bill has been timetabled.
The Secretary of State for Transport, Justine Greening, has suggested moving the consultation on the second phase forward.
All three main political parties support it.
Businesses around the country support it.
The unions support it.
There’s no room at Heathrow, with or without R3, for internal flights.
Train ridership figures are booming, and look set to increase.
The WCML francshise process incorporates plans for HS2.
Capacity out of Euston is set to bursting.
And many new regions, with Scotland leading the way, are clamouring for firm commitments to track extensions.
In response to The Spectator, Lucy James, Director of the Campaign for High Speed Rail, said:
“This claim is nonsense. It has been concocted out of thin air by a handful of people within Conservative circles who have an axe to grind against David Cameron and who want to make trouble for the coalition. It is deluded and 100% Tory party internecine politics.
“Let’s take the facts as they are. All three political parties support HS2, the hybrid bill has been timetabled and million pound contracts have been doled out. Just today, the Prime Minister himself reaffirmed his support for HS2 at PMQs. These are hardly the sorts of signs that imply a project is on its last legs.
“The Spectator and their allies have got a “black is white” thing about HS2, where they blindly ignore the facts in favour of the total opposite. Rather than listening to a small group of people in Westminster, let’s listen to businesses and cities around the country for whom HS2 could not happen fast enough.”
Notes to editors
1. The Campaign for High Speed Rail is the national pro-campaign for HS2. Our supporters include parliamentarians, businesses, civic leaders, unions, industry and members of the public.
2. The campaign and its supporters are available for interview. To arrange an interview, please call Lucy James on 07758 019 351.