A manufacturing boss and UKIP transport chief has ridiculed the case for HS2.
UKIP MEP Jill Seymour, who runs Seymour Manufacturing with husband Brian, branded the £50bn high-speed rail line as ‘destructive’. The line will see 351 miles of new track built and cut a 45-mile swathe through Staffordshire. Mrs Seymour said: “UKIP would scrap the HS2 scheme immediately because it is a flawed EU vanity project and a national disgrace. “It has no business case, as it will leave our country riddled with escalating debt. Never mind how many people’s lives and communities it will destroy, ripping up graveyards and ancient woodlands. “I do not want to see our precious environment ruined by this destructive rail line. “There are unanswered questions on plans and costs, yet it is still moving forward against public wishes. It will only be supporting a minority, at the expense of the majority. “How much money needs to be thrown at this until common sense prevails and HS2 is scrapped”. Both the Tories and Labour are supporting the new train line which will run from London to Birmingham and Manchester and Leeds. Trains would travel at 225mph. The Government says HS2 is needed to create more space on the nation’s railways and will also boost the economy. Mrs Seymour added: “What passengers want is an affordable, comfortable, reliable and efficient rail network system that delivers from south to north, and east to west. “We already have a network in place, but it is desperate for improvement, alternative options have been offered at much less cost. “The victims of HS2 are in total despair and have not been awarded adequate compensation.” A Department for Transport spokesman said the case for HS2 was ‘crystal clear’ and claimed it would have a ‘transformational effect’. He said: “It is a vital part of the government’s long-term economic plan, strongly supported by Northern and Midland cities, alongside our plans for better east-west rail links confirmed in the Northern Transport Strategy. “Demand for long distance rail travel has doubled in the past 15 years. It is crucial we press ahead with delivering HS2 on time and budget and we remain on track to start construction in 2017.” The Government is under pressure to release a suppressed report which is believed to cast significant doubt on the project. Ministers used a rare veto to block the release of the report. HS2 bosses told the Express & Star that the high-speed trains would never be late and every passenger would be guaranteed a seat.