High speed rail link HS2 will damage business in Cornwall, politicians claim
Government plans for a high-speed rail link between London and the North have been slammed by politicians in Cornwall.
The Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition are pressing ahead with plans to spend £42.6 billion on the HS2 scheme.
But Mebyon Kernow politicians said the project would be bad for business in Cornwall and the Government should look at spending money across the whole country.
A report commissioned by the Government has shown that Cornwall stands to lose £19.25 million if the controversial project goes ahead.
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On Wednesday MPs voted by 350 to 34 to approve the High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill, which will allow the Government to spend money planning the route in detail and buying up property from residents and businesses along the proposed track.
Cornwall Council member Andrew Long, from Mebyon Kernow, said: “It is becoming increasingly clear that HS2 is a flawed proposal and any benefit to the cities of Central and Northern England will be more than outweighed by the loss of business to areas such as Wales and Cornwall. Here we are suffering from a rail network that is struggling to cope with increased demand of travellers combined with the threat to the mainline near Exeter and at Dawlish. “
Mr Long said some of the massive capital spend proposed for HS2 should be used to upgrade the rail link to Cornwall.
He said: “What we now need is an acceptance that the South West mainline needs to be preserved to ensure that Cornwall and the West of England has access to markets in the South East and beyond. The £42 bplanned for HS2 could be far better used to promote business across the rest of the UK.”