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Laura Smith MP responds to announcement of an independent review into HS2

The Member of Parliament for Crewe & Nantwich has responded to the announcement by the Prime Minister that there will be an independent review into HS2. The review will consider a range of options, including only building Phase 1.

Laura Smith said, “I am deeply disappointed and extremely frustrated by the terms of reference for this review. Proceeding with only Phase 1 would undermine planned investment here in the North. Nobody wants a half-baked scheme that costs us billions but fails to deliver on the benefits that we were all promised.

“HS2 is the most important infrastructure project of the next decade. It is fifteen years in the making and billions of taxpayers money has already been spent getting us this far.  

“This is not about getting to London faster. HS2 is also central to unlocking Crewe’s potential to become a nationally significant economic centre. Our town is uniquely placed to become one of the world’s leading engineering and manufacturing locations, as well as attracting major retailing and regional hub employers. I believe Crewe is the only place in the North West that – with HS2 – will truly help to rebalance the UK economy outside of London and the South East.

“Of course, I have always insisted on good value for money for the taxpayer and I have supported recent efforts by the Labour Party to make HS2 Ltd more transparent and accountable. But a recent report highlighted that the total costs will amount to less than half a percent of total public spending. 

Almost all of the businesses that are involved are British and the majority are small and medium-sized enterprises. Scaling back HS2, or scrapping it altogether, would cost thousands of jobs and miss a huge opportunity to bring decent employment opportunities to Crewe & Nantwich.

“The Conservatives have spent the past nine years failing to invest in our town and at the same time slashing spending on our local hospital, our schools and our police force. Every step of the way, Boris Johnson has supported policies that have held back Crewe & Nantwich and brought misery to local people. Now, as Prime Minister, he is putting our future prosperity at risk by flirting with the idea of scrapping HS2 for Crewe or delivering a half-baked scheme instead.

“I will be making representations to the review panel and will be calling on the government to seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity for the people Crewe & Nantwich and the wider UK economy.”