Wakefield council leader's bid to de-rail HS2

The fight against a proposed high speed rail link which campaigners say will 'carve up' Wakefield district's towns, village and countryside will go on tonight.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 23rd January 2017, 7:58 am
Updated Monday, 23rd January 2017, 8:02 am

A meeting is being held at a community centre in Altofts and is being fronted by Wakefield Council Leader, Peter Box, who will be explaining why the local authority is opposed to HS2 - a project to link London, Birmingham, the East Midlands, Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester.

Opponents to HS2 say the £65m scheme is a waste of money and there is limited evidence it would benefit the economy.

There are also fears that the existing Wakefield to London trains could also be reduced if new HS2 trains from Leeds to the capital are introduced.

Coun Box said: “I do not believe that the £65bn that is to be spent on HS2 represents good value for money.

“Any economic benefits have been exaggerated and the proposals seem to totally ignore the many environmental concerns which have been raised.

“To be able to use HS2, people from the district would have to travel to Leeds, making the journey to get to London longer than now.”

A better way to spend the money, he added, would be improve dilapidated existing train services around the North of England such as links between Liverpool and Hull.

Tonight’s meeting is at The Brig on St Mary’s Road and gets underway at 7.30pm.

Organiser, Paul Dainton has urged the community to unite together in the fight to stop the scheme.

He said: “I am delighted Coun Box is leading the meeting as his support for the campaign has been unwavering. It is crucial people living in the area know our local politicians are listening to the views of the vast majority of residents in the area.”