John Baron MP opposes HS2

April 29, 2014
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MP says country cannot afford £50 billion white elephants

This week the Government is intending to guide the detailed legislation for the high-speed railway from London to Birmingham through its initial Commons stages. John Baron MP has consistently taken a stand against HS2, voting against the High Speed Rail (Preparation) Act last year. John intervened last night in the House of Commons during the HS2 debate.

John said,

“At a time when the Government is struggling with the deficit, and yet we are still adding to our National Debt, the last thing we need is £50 billion white elephants.”

John said afterwards,

“Overall, the cost is hard to justify in these austere times. Some of the money could be better spent on our Armed Forces, on people struggling with the rising cost of living, and on smaller companies by cutting their Corporation Tax. Existing rail networks could also be upgraded, platforms could be adapted and trains lengthened – for a fraction of the cost of HS2.”

“HS2 may reduce journey time between major cities, but advances in technology mean this time can now be profitably spent – and even more so given the advent of fast and reliable mobile data services.”

“Furthermore, evidence from other advanced economies suggests that when high speed rail systems are introduced, they can either adversely affect regional rail systems or centralise economic activity on the capital – or both. Regional economies usually suffer.”

Ends

Word Count: 240

Date: 29th April 2014

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