Letter to The Times: Labour should question HS2

Sir. That HS2 has become a money pit pretending to be a job creation scheme was always predictable. The problem is that it was a bi-partisan scheme, with no one daring to call it out. Admittedly,  a few brave MPs and local councillors raised objections but they were up against the frontbenches of all three of the main   political parties, who  expressed nothing but  admiration for the proposed line, despite its raison d’être changing variously from speed to capacity to levelling-up to “can’t stop it now”.
The truth is that, right from the start,  the line had no USP,  and now it has no selling point at all. It is time to break up this consensus. Your leading article (“National Embarrassment”, Mar 10) is right to call for  a “brisk  inquiry”, and Labour should take the lead in  demanding  such an investigation so as to establish a rational and realistic way forward for HS2. Continuing to spend £100 million a week on the project for the foreseeable future is not it.


Christian Wolmar

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