Peter Cranie, the Green Euro MP candidate for the North West of England has predicted that the trickle of U-turns on HS2 will turn into a stampede in the next few months. This follows reports that the cost of HS2 has leapt a further Â£10 billion.
Peter Cranie, who works in Skelmersdale, the second largest town in the UK without access to a rail station, believes growing opposition will force the cancellation of the project within the next two years.
Peter Cranie said:
"HS2 was backed by politicians from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives in a wave of euphoria about big infrastructure solving all of our economic problems. Only the Green Party stood against this project at the beginning. We pointed out then, as we do now, that this money would be far better spent on local transport infrastructure.
"We have already wasted more than Â£250 million (51m.co.uk/news/gillan-shocked-quarter-billion-pounds-hs2-has-cost-so-far) on this project. How many millions or billions will this coalition government spend before it will recognises it has got it wrong?
"Peter Mandelson's U-turn in his support for HS2 is just the start of a stampede, as politicians from all sides recognise this is will be a monumental waste of money that will benefit only very rich business commuters. I fully expect many other politicians to reverse their position on this issue, despite having voted it through in Parliament." (https://northwest.greenparty.org.uk/)
The Greens are clear that they do not simply want to see the money go unspent. The right infrastructure projects can create jobs and help revive the regional economy. In the North West, the restoration of the Halton Curve and connecting up Skelmersdale to the rail network are two projects that should be prioritised.