July 17th 2012
Stop HS2 campaigners have said that electrification plans outlined by the government further undermine the business case for high-speed rail.
Yesterday, David Cameron and Nick Clegg officially announced an additional £4.2 billion programme of investment in Britain’s rail network between 2014-2019.
Projects will include electrifying lines between Bedford and Sheffield and Cardiff and Swansea.
Stop HS2 campaign coordinator Joe Rukin said: “Even proponents of HS2 have admitted that Midland Main Line electrification diminishes a great deal of the point of having HS2 and further wrecks the business case.
“Incremental improvements like addressing the massive gaps in electrification are more beneficial to more people than HS2, can be provided more quickly at a far lower cost and unlike HS2, have environmental benefits.
“Investing in the existing infrastructure is simply a far better option, as this can deliver real benefits to more parts of the country.
“If HS2 is going to go ahead, today’s announcement pretty much signals the last chance saloon for other rail projects to get the go ahead in the next 20 years, as if the spending on the construction of HS2 gets the go-ahead, nothing else will get a look in.”