Mebyon Kernow have called on the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Government to accept defeat on their flawed proposal for the High Speed Rail link (HS2) to the North of England and to use some of the capital to upgrade the fragile rail link to Cornwall.
MK’s Economy Spokesperson, Cornwall Councillor Andrew Long, was talking after the government lowered its estimate on the economic benefit of the HS2 proposal to the UK economy.
He 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. This needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later and using so much capital to increase speeds of trains elsewhere.
“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 £42bn planned for HS2 could be far better used to promote business across the rest of the UK.”
The government has, this week, announced that the economic value to the UK has been downmarked from £3.50 to £2.50 per £1 invested and have cited the fact that the overall cost is now estimated at £42.6 billion for the project.