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“Government must ‘come clean’ over HS2 costs”


LABOUR election-hopeful Chris Vobe is calling on the Government to “come clean” over the spiralling costs of the HS2 rail line.
The Winwick parish councillor’s comments come following an intervention at the weekend from Lord Berkley, the former deputy chairman of the independent Oakervee Review, who stated that there is “overwhelming evidence” that the costs of HS2 are “out of control” and its benefits have been overstated.
Lord Berkley believes that MPs have been “misled” over the cost of the HS2 project, says the former Culcheth and Croft councillor
Cllr Vobe, who will contest the Rixton and Woolston ward for Labour in the Warrington Borough Council elections in May, said: “The comments from Lord Berkley show clearly that there is just cause for concern over the rising cost of HS2.
“These concerns will be felt acutely here in Warrington North, where communities like Rixton and Culcheth are set to suffer all of the blight, for no gain.
“That is why the Government must come clean – they have previously assured Labour politicians that the costs would not spiral. Now we are faced with the reality.
“The Government are pressing ahead with the route that they have fixed upon, whilst wilfully ignoring the arguments that have been made locally which demonstrate clearly that the economic case simply doesn’t stack up.
Cllr Vobe added: “We are not content to stay silent on this issue. People in Hollins Green and Culcheth deserve to know that someone is fighting their corner on this. That is what we will continue to do. I will continue to make those arguments alongside my colleagues, because Warrington North residents deserve their voices to be heard.”
HS2 is still opposed by the locally based CADRAG – Culcheth and District Rail Action Group – who hope that the review will at least result in the Golborne Link – the section of the project that would cut through the Culcheth and Hollins Green areas – being axed.


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