HS2 ‘a waste of public money’, campaigners claim in Leamington today

From left: William Kitchen, Duncan Simpson and James Price of the Taxpayers' Alliance
From left: William Kitchen, Duncan Simpson and James Price of the Taxpayers' Alliance

HS2 costs too much and is a waste of public money, a campaign group claimed in Leamington today (Thursday August 17).

Members of the Taxpayers’ Alliance were taking to the public outside the Town Hall this lunchtime on what they thought about HS2.

The group plan to head to towns and cities affected by the line’s construction, including Phase 1 and Phase 2, in the wake of a new top estimate cost for the project - £104 billion.

James Price, the grassroots campaign manager for the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said the biggest problem with HS2 was the ‘sheer expense’ of it.

He added: “It’s only going to be 20 minutes quicker. You could increase the rolling stock instead without spending this kind of money,.

“By the time it’s done, driverless cars will be much more viable.

“And with George Osborne out of the cabinet, there’s no real champion of it any more in government.”

Phase 1 of HS2 is set to cut directly though Burton Green, and pass very close to villages such as Stoneleigh, Cubbington and Offchurch.

And extra traffic during the line’s construction could create more congestion.

Construction is expected to be complete in 2026.