Labour and Tory party request change of route for HS2 line

Labour and Tory MPs have united in an attempt to enforce a change in route for the upcoming HS2 (High-Speed 2) line to avoid the so-called “Wigan Spur” which they are concerned will be detrimental for Warrington.

Labour MP Helen Jones for Warrington North and Conservative MP David Mowat for Warrington South have been applying some pressure towards the government in a campaign effort to scrap the current plans for the HS2 route, which they argue, could cost around £1bn and hurt households and businesses.

Ms. Jones said:

 “[We] are united in the belief that this initial proposed route around Warrington is both bad for the town and increasingly economically unjustifiable.”

Mr Mowat’s concerns about the route were in agreement with Ms Jones and was quoted saying the line will serve “No purpose” and provide “No business benefit”. Speaking in a Westminster Hall debate, the two party representatives have proposed a new route and would have the HS2 join the West Coast main line at Crewe. This would mean connections would be opened for Liverpool and Warrington.

Ms Jones main worry is that her constituency will face severe economic damage, damage which may also extend to the environment saying:

“It is already inflicting housing blight and it will, I believe, lead to economic damage in the villages affected, rather than prosperity.”

Minister in charge of the HS2 development David Higgins, has been implored by Ms. Jones to take another look at her proposal, suggesting that the line joining the West Coast main line north of Crewe and eventual connection between Warrington and Liverpool could save the government £1bn pounds and avoid any damages to her constituency.

The High Speed Rail campaign is at present, separately fighting for the HS2 route to be continued as far as Liverpool.

On the subject of the current HS2 route outlined in Higgins report Mr Mowat said:

“The Country’s got many things it could do with £1bn… there are no benefits in the strategic case pertaining to this.”

Words: Daniel Pearce


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