Wakefield Council says HS2 should be scrapped and the cash spent on better rail links in the north

The new leader of Wakefield Council has urged the government to scrap HS2 and invest in better transport schemes that will benefit the north.

Friday, 24th January 2020, 2:27 pm
Updated Friday, 24th January 2020, 3:22 pm
HS2 artist's impression

Coun Denise Jeffery has written to the Prime Minister to reinforce the council’s objection to HS2 and urge the government to consider other rail and transport initiatives.

In the letter, Coun Jeffery said the local authority shares the ambitions of other councils in West Yorkshire and supports better connectivity.

But she believes that HS2 has no direct benefit to the residents of the Wakefield district and would severely compromise the environment.

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She made a case for improving commuter links within the Leeds City Region and between other northern regions like Manchester and Liverpool which would greatly improve employment and investment opportunities across the North, including the Wakefield district.

Commenting on her letter, Coun Jeffery said: “I do not believe that HS2 is the best use of major infrastructure resources at this time.

"For our district, it would have a tremendous adverse environmental impact and does not address key issues that really need to be sorted such as the need for more investment in local rail commuter routes and improved bus services.

“I believe there is no shortage of rail and other transport initiatives for the North which would pay much greater dividends for the economy and for quality of life than HS2.

“Our residents deserve to be able to access employment and leisure opportunities with a bus and train infrastructure that works for them.

“I do not believe that HS2 can offer this and am urging the Government to consider other options for rail and transport infrastructure carefully.”