Min­is­ter in­sists HS2 will not be can­celled

Yorkshire Post - - GENERAL ELECTION 2017 -

TRANS­PORT MIN­IS­TER An­drew Jones has re­jected sug­ges­tions the planned high-speed rail line to York­shire could be can­celled af­ter the Gen­eral Elec­tion.

The Har­ro­gate and Knares­bor­ough MP promised there would be no back-track­ing on the Con­ser­va­tives’ com­mit­ment to de­liv­er­ing HS2 when the party pub­lishes its man­i­festo.

Week­end re­ports sug­gested Theresa May was com­ing un­der pres­sure from Con­ser­va­tive MPs in the South to use the elec­tion to de­lay or can­cel HS2.

De­liv­er­ing HS2 was one of the Con­ser­va­tives’ key pledges to York­shire in 2015, with David Cameron sug­gest­ing the stretch be­tween Leeds and Sh­effield could be built early.

Mr Jones told The York­shire Post: “HS2 is go­ing ahead. Con­struc­tion will be un­der way shortly, and that will be an im­por­tant mo­ment in our trans­port his­tory.

“The gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to it. Sug­ges­tions to the con­trary are in­cor­rect.”

For­mer John Lewis boss Andy Street, now the Con­ser­va­tive can­di­date to be the new West Mid­lands metro-mayor, also pledged the party’s on­go­ing sup­port for HS2.

He told the Birm­ing­ham Mail: “I am ut­terly cer­tain that the Gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to HS2 and that’s the right de­ci­sion. That’s about bold lead­er­ship.

“There will be many peo­ple in the Con­ser­va­tive Party who would say it is a good thing to not go ahead and I sus­pect the man­i­festo silly sea­son is a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity for them to re­launch their idea.”

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