Chris Green MP: Could you afford a HS2 ticket?
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At the beginning of the project, we were told that it would cost £17 billion and it was also known at the time that an HS2 ticket would be more expensive than a normal intercity ticket.
Now that the cost has ballooned from £17 billion to £33 billion, up to £100 billion and even projected to be £180 billion, how much will your ticket be?
One of the most bizarre aspects of the whole HS2 debate is that no one is talking about the price of a ticket that you would pay to save a few minutes in getting to London in the mid-2040s.
We can see that the price of a ticket will have gone through the roof and that most people would find it unaffordable.
HS2 has become an article of faith rather than a practical solution to transport problems and congestion.
I get the train from Wigan railway station to Euston and it takes two hours. Obviously, I would like it to be a little faster but have never felt that the British taxpayer should fund a project that would add so little and for so much.
Why have the political class and media commentators, who condemn the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s decision, never said how they feel about so many extra billions of pounds ending up in the pockets of already fabulously wealthy businessmen?
I would have imagined that Labour would have been on the side of the workers who want value for money rather than the excessive profits of the already rich. Their new motto seems to be “for the few not for the many”.
The Labour Peer, Lord Berkeley, who has a wealth of experience in huge construction projects said that he reckons it will cost £180 billion as an expert guest on the BBC Newsnight programme.
Now that the reality has hit home and Rishi Sunak is radically changing the Government’s priorities, it is astonishing that Labour can find no better use for your money. The Prime Minister is going to prioritize local infrastructure which matter to people every day.
Every penny of the £36 billion of savings from HS2 is going to be ploughed into projects that matter to travellers across the north of England and the Midlands.
Rishi Sunak has also pushed back the compulsory transition of manufacturing electric vehicles rather than petrol or diesel.
The EU had already pushed their switch over to 2035 to protect the French and German car industries but Labour want to pull it back to 2030 again if they are elected to form a government.
I suppose that the next announcement at their conference will be to force people to switch out their gas boilers at huge cost.
Same old Labour knowing the cost of everything but the value of nothing.