In a debate in Westminster Hall in Parliament yesterday afternoon, I called for the Government to urgently commit to a full review of the business case for HS2 before the Notice to Proceed is granted later this year.
In the first debate I have led since returning to the backbenches after stepping down as Leader of the Commons, I felt it was important that HS2 was one of the first issues I raised in Parliament on behalf of my constituents, and I wanted to again put on record my strong concerns about the business case and value for taxpayer money.
There is no doubt that investment in infrastructure is the key to solving the UK’s productivity challenge, and we have to see investment that benefits our entire United Kingdom. But getting the best value for money has to be at the heart of all that we do, and it is vital that we make sure we are investing in the right infrastructure projects.
HS2 is one of the single biggest concerns for my constituents, and over the years it has become clear there are significant questions about value for money for the taxpayer. I was delighted that colleagues from across the House voiced their own concerns about the project during the debate, including Victoria Prentis, Antoinette Sandbach, Craig Tracey, Andrew Bridgen, Luke Graham, Barry Sheerman, Kelvin Hopkins and Ivan Lewis.
You can watch my opening remarks below, and you can read a full transcript of the debate on Hansard.
I will continue to press for a full review of the project on behalf of my constituents.