Election special – HS2 and HS3

With a General Election looming on 7 May, we asked the political parties to set out their policies on eight key rural issues that affect the countryside in 2015. Here we ask - What is your approach towards HS2 and HS3?

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What is your approach towards HS2 and HS3?


Investing in HS2 and looking at a third high speed line between Manchester and Leeds are important parts of our long-term economic plan. With huge pressures on rail capacity, and an economic gap between north and south, we need infrastructure investments to build the Northern Powerhouse required to make the most of the area’s economic potential.


HS2 is a London-based vanity project not supported by most local authorities on the route. The £50bn plus price tag would be better spent on creating more resilient regional railways. HS3 would bring a much needed east-west link to the north, but the high-speed element is not needed.


Labour supports HS2 because it will provide needed new capacity on our railways, better connect our great cities and help small businesses to grow. Under Labour, we will ensure better cost control. Labour also believes that improved east-west transport links are vital to a thriving, balanced economy.


We were the first party to champion High Speed Rail. HS2 will free capacity on the network, create 400,000 jobs, reduce road congestion and domestic flights reliance, and cut journey times between London and the North. HS3 would strengthen economic development in the North.


Wales should receive its fair share of the investment spent in England on HS2 and HS3, which, according to the Barnett formula should be around £4bn. This would enable us to invest in the Welsh transport network.


There is a clear case for HS2 coming all the way to Scotland – and the Scottish Government is working with the UK Government to identify to ensure high-speed rail for Scotland.


HS2 and HS3 should be scrapped immediately. They have no business case and leave us with massive debt. The threat of HS2 is destroying people’s lives and their communities. We should concentrate on improving existing rail infrastructure.

Read the responses to all eight key issues.