HS2 protesters attend final select committee

THE final session of the Transport Select Committee on high speed rail took place in London on Tuesday with opponents still declaring that the business case had not been made.

At one stage they appeared to have won the unlikely support of Transport Secretary Philip Hammond who actually admitted that “trains were a rich man’s toy” and that a factory worker in Manchester might never use HS2.

Despite his comments, Mr Hammond - who pointed out that cheaper fares could be found by those who ‘shopped around’ - is in favour of the £33 billion project which local action groups describe as “a white elephant.”

Sign up to our daily WarwickshireWorld Today newsletter

Joe Rukin from Kenilworth, who is co-ordinator of the Stop HS2 campaign, was among those at the committee hearing.

He said: “The Government’s own business case for HS2 puts the average wages of those using the train at £70,000. That’s not a rich man’s toy - that’s a super rich man’s toy.

“Staff at HS2 didn’t have the answers to many of the questions they have been asked for months. Chief engineer Andrew McNaughton still doesn’t even know the land take - while they admit the business case is independent of the fare structure.”