MPs push for HS2 extension commitment
Post by Karl Phillips
on 08 November 2011 in Travel & Leisure
MPs have urged ministers to commit to including Leeds and Manchester in plans for a new UK high-speed rail link.
In a report to ministers over plans to spend £32bn creating the HS2 high-speed train service between Birmingham and London, the Transport Select Committee said a commitment must be made to extend the route further north to Leeds and Manchester as part of a Y network.
In the conclusion to its report on the scheme, the committee said as a minimum "the government must fully commit to the Y network" before seeking parliamentary approval for a high-speed link between the capital and the West Midlands.
"The case for investing in a high-speed line between London and the West Midlands depends largely on the assumption that the full Y network will be completed," the report said. But went on to add that MPs were disappointed that even basic information on the route north of Birmingham, such as the location of proposed stations, was not made available during the public consultation or during our inquiry.
They called on the government to carry out a full assessment of the case for building north to south "as a priority".
Joe Rukin, campaign co-ordinator for Stop HS2, which wants the high-speed rail scheme scrapped, described the report as "scathing" with regard to the amount of work that still needs to be carried out in terms of planning and satisfying unanswered questions.
He said: "We believe the only proper way available to proceed with a project of this scale and complexity would be via a public inquiry."
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