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HS2 ‘could hurt rail services’

HS2 ‘could hurt rail services’

Continuing with the Government's plans for the HS2 high-speed rail scheme will result in slower and less-regular service for rail passengers, it has been claimed.

According to a report from the TaxPayers' Alliance, in creating the new link from London to Birmingham, the capital's Euston Station will end up "becoming a building site for seven years".

Once the second phase is built north of Birmingham, the report has predicted that from 2026, the London to Scotland West Coast main line will see a 6.6% drop in the number of available seats – compared with 2012.

Cities that the report has claimed will have "worse rail services as a result of HS2" include Manchester, Coventry, Sheffield, Stoke-on-Trent, Leicester, Nottingham and Derby.

These destinations would be "negatively hit by longer journey times, fewer seats and/or fewer trains per day", according to the alliance.

TaxPayers' Alliance director Matthew Sinclair said: "High-speed rail isn't the right way of getting the capacity we need. The project is set to cost taxpayers a fortune and it is increasingly clear it will be a huge white elephant.

"While politicians are holding out the promise of a faster journey for a fortunate few, huge numbers of people will face slower and less-frequent services with more overcrowding. Everyone will still have to pay the hefty bill."

A Department for Transport spokesman said: "This is complete nonsense, largely based around speculation, guesswork and spurious crystal-ball gazing about our future plans for investment in the existing railways.

"The Taxpayers' Alliance are speculating wildly that all kinds of other rail projects won't go-ahead because of HS2. This is simply not the case. The Government has been quite clear that we will continue to invest in our existing railways as we plan for a high-speed network.”

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