Half of Brits in favour of scrapping HS2
Half of Britons are in favour of scrapping the HS2 project as costs continue to mount.
Around 52 per cent of those who voted Conservatives in the 2019 election are against the project, compared with 17 per cent who think the high-speed rail from London to the Midlands should go ahead, the Telegraph first reported.
“A majority of the British public and specifically 2019 Conservative voters want HS2 scrapped,” said a spokesperson for consultancy firm Redfield & Wilton, who carried the survey on 1,500 people.
The poll’s results come in the midst of the Tory leadership race, which sees former Chancellor Rishi Sunak as one of the main bidders.
Sunak has been in favour of the project and so has senior backbencher Tom Tugendhat, while Attorney General Suella Braverman – another contender – said ministers should ask whether the project is still “value for money.”
Among those who have yet to throw their hat in the ring, foreign secretary Liz Truss has deemed the project a “white elephant,” while Jeremy Hunt, Penny Mordaunt and Nadhim Zahawi were all in favour.
In March, then-HS2 minister Andrew Stephenson said he was concerned about the rate at which the project’s costs were soaring after the railway had taken a further £500m between September 2021 and January 2022.
Despite being a central of the Tory manifesto in the 2019 election, the government decided late last year to cut the eastern leg of HS2 – which connects Birmingham to Leeds – bringing about a wave of criticism from industry stakeholders, City A.M. reported.