Unions and MPs respond to Lord Astor’s comments on HS2
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
In response to the comments by Lord Astor in today’s Spectator about HS2, Bob Crow, General Secretary of the RMT, said:
“If you wanted hard and fast evidence that the opposition to the modernisation of Britain’s railways is coming from the toffs and the landed gentry then I give you Lord Astor’s comments today as an open and shut case.
“If the likes of Lord Astor had had their way there would have been no development of infrastructure and communications in this country on the grounds that it would upset the wealthy landowners and we would still be living in a feudal society”.
In response to comments made by Lord Astor on HS2 in the Spectator this morning, Julie Hilling, Labour MP for Bolton West, said:
“The accusations made by Lord Astor this morning are as offensive as they are utterly misguided. Far from being out to destroy the Chilterns countryside, northern Labour MPs support HS2 because it is an essential piece of transport infrastructure that will provide a substantial boost to the northern economy and create jobs.
Lord Astor is perhaps unaware, but outside of the South East communities are being hard hit by the recession and struggling with high levels of unemployment. We do not “relish the thought” of its impact on the Chilterns – we relish the job creation that HS2 will bring.”
Graham Evans, Conservative MP for Weaver Vale in Cheshire, said:
“As a northern Conservative MP I am proud of the commitment that this Government has shown towards building infrastructure projects in the North. I thank the Government for recognising the importance of HS2 as a vital piece of this puzzle and welcome their recent decision to give it the green light.
“The comments by Lord Astor this morning are wrong-headed. Far from wanting to dig up the Chilterns, the importance of HS2 is to grow the UK’s economy and allow us to compete in an increasingly competitive global market place.
“HS2 is a serious financial commitment but one that will take place over several decades and that will reap financial returns for generations. I am deeply disappointed that Lord Astor fails to recognise the long-term significance of HS2 for the whole of this country, not just the North”.