9th Dec, 2019

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tells The Observer he's reluctant to see HS2 scrapped

John Carlon 14th Nov, 2019

PRIME Minister Boris Johnson has told The Observer he was reluctant to see HS2 scrapped.

He was speaking when he brought his election campaign to Warwickshire yesterday to make a speech at the London Electric Vehicle factory based at Ansty Park near Coventry.

The Prime Minister was asked by The Observer’s reporter about the delayed review into the controversial HS2 rail project – 54 kilometres of which will cut through the heart of Warwickshire.

He said: “Any new government that’s come in with something that’s costing the thick end of £100 billion, the responsible thing to do is to get a proper review of that project.

“What I wanted Lord Oakervee (chairman of the HS2 commission) to do is to look at the profiling of the spend, the sums that were being spent and where it was being spent, and to see whether the taxpayer is getting value for money. He is going to report on that a bit later on.

“You have to ask if it is being profiled in the right way, and if you should be saving money, asking if there ways of doing it better.

“If it’s a massive national project involving a huge new piece of infrastructure, in theory for the long term benefit of the country, then I am very reluctant instinctively to just scrap it.

“We are going to look at the cost, and if we can save money we will.”

The PM’s comment came days after a leaked draft copy of the consultation review showed the project had been recommended to go ahead despite spiralling costs reaching £88billion.

The independent government review into the 190km high speed line, which will run between London and Birmingham, has was not due to be published until after the general election.

Campaigners against the line, who set up camp in Cubbington and Crackley Woods around a month ago in a bid to stop contractors cutting down woodland, have said they will continue their fight.

A spokesman for HS2 Ltd declined to comment on the leaked report.

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