HS2 TREASURY WARNING

Wednesday, September 4 2013

UKIP Transport Spokesman Mike Nattrass says the Coalition Government has been left red-faced yet again over HS2 after a senior Treasury civil servant warned this week that the controversial rail project could be scrapped if its cost continues to skyrocket.

West Midlands MEP Mike Nattrass, who is a member of the EU’s Transport & Tourism Committee, believes the Government is clearly in disarray over the multi-billion rail scheme following a statement by Nick Macpherson in which he insisted that there was no blank cheque book for HS2.

The statement is yet another embarrassment for the Coalition as it was made just days after the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said the Government would push ahead with HS2.

Last week, Mike Nattrass MEP stated “you don’t need Detective Columbo or Sherlock Holmes to see there is a concrete case against HS2” following a statement by the Institute of Directors (IoD) which described the project as “one grand folly”.

Commenting today, Mr Nattrass said: “I welcome the stance taken by Nick Macpherson over HS2 which is proving to be a major embarrassment to the Coalition.

“Mr Osborne believes HS2 will help ‘bring the gap between north and south together’ but the rail line will see vital skills travel southwards to the detriment of the Midlands and the North.

“Earlier this year, a study by Freelancer.co.uk showed two thirds of 2,000 small firms surveyed in Birmingham felt HS2 would not boost their business.

“HS2 is a vanity project and vanity can be a dangerous thing – look what happened to Dorian Grey.”