East Yorkshire MP David Davis calls for HS2 to be scrapped - this is why

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 15 Feb 2019

An East Yorkshire MP has called for the £56bn high-speed train line from London to the North to be scrapped.

High Speed Two (HS2) is scheduled to link London to Manchester and Leeds via a fast rail line by 2033, with promises to cut journey times and free-up seats on the current west and east coast mainlines. Trains from Hull currently travel to Doncaster and beyond using the east coast route.

But the HS2 project, which is already under construction, has faced growing criticism due to its heavy costs and for not slicing more off inter-city journey times.

The Department for Transport (DfT) estimates journeys between London and Birmingham – the first phase of the project – will be cut by 30 minutes, while train trips between the Capital and Manchester will see an hour shaved-off the journey time.

David Davis calls for HS2 to be scrapped

David Davis, MP for Haltemprice and Howden, has now added his voice to the growing list of critics who want to see HS2 abandoned.

The Conservative Party politician, speaking in Parliament on February 14, branded the programme a “white elephant” and urged ministers to put a halt to the work and instead use the set aside cash to invest in the existing train network.

Read more: Hull MP says it's been 'five wasted years' since Northern Powerhouse launched

The ex-Cabinet minister said: “The minister will be aware that he could replace and upgrade every piece of rolling stock in the country for less than half the price of High Speed Two. Why do we not just cancel this white elephant and give the public something that they want?”

Rail Minister Andrew Jones said HS2 would go ahead but in conjunction with upgrades on the current services.

The junior transport minister said: “I say to my right honourable friend that, actually, we are doing both.

“We are replacing the rolling stock in our country and delivering HS2, which is what we need to deliver more capacity in our rail market.”

Haltemprice and Howden MP David Davis wants the Government to put a stop to HS2 (Image: Hull Daily Mail)

The first phase of HS2, linking London Euston to Birmingham Curzon Street and budgeted at £27bn, is already underway and is due to open in 2026.

Going north from Birmingham there will be a Y-shaped layout, with the eastern branch going to the East Midlands, Leeds and York, and the western branch to Manchester. Stage two is planned to cost £29bn, taking the total bill to £56bn.

Read more: Hull workers need to Speak Up about mental health - this is could be the answer

Industry experts, however, have suggested in national media reports that the entire £56bn spend could be swallowed up by the first phase of the line alone between London and Birmingham after land purchasing costs spiralled before construction started.

Transport for the North last month announced, as part of its 30-year investment strategy, plans for a high-speed rail route across the North – dubbed HS3 or 'Crossrail for the North' – which would link major cities between Hull in the east and Liverpool in the west.

Business leaders in Hull have called on HS3 to be given priority over HS2.

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