Planned high speed rail network costs attacked

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CAMPAIGNERS opposing the planned high speed rail network claim its construction will cost £51 million for each constituency in Britain, taking money from other public services.

The Campaign Against High Speed 2 claims current rail services will be reduced and commuters will also pay a ‘torturous price’ with years of disruption whilst the new lines are built.

Even before MPs have a chance to vote on whether the scheme should go ahead in December, the Government is spending millions of pounds on feasibility work.

By 2015, £800 million will have been spent on designing and planning the line, before a single rail is laid, campaign members have warned.

Jerry Marshall, spokeswoman for the Campaign Against HS2, said: “The current proposal for High Speed 2 is ill-conceived and the benefits are massively overstated. With the government cutting public services across the board, the cost of the network, an estimate of over £32billion, would be better spent on upgrading the existing transport network and protecting our local community services.

“We would encourage anyone with concerns over how this money is being spent to contact their local MP.

“This must be stopped before the government makes an irreversible decision in December.”

The Government has said that the economic benefit of building the line would be £2 for every £1 spent.

Proposals involve building an initial line from London to Birmingham, which would branch into two, to the North West and the East Midlands, Sheffield and Leeds.