HS2 rail link is 'vital to Bolton's economy'
A HIGH speed rail link between London and the North West is vital to Bolton’s economy, according to senior figures in the town.
Following calls for the project to be scrapped, Bolton’s MPs and transport chiefs have said investment in High Speed 2 (HS2) must continue.
The London-based Institute of Directors (IoD) this week called on the government to abandon HS2, with director general Simon Walker describing it as “one grand folly”.
But Julie Hilling, MP for Bolton West, said the £50 billion scheme would improve links between the North West and the South.
She said: “I am still in favour of HS2. It doesn’t make sense to build a 19th century railway when we should be building for the 21st century.
“This project will improve links from the North West to the South, which are crucial for our economy.”
A survey showed that just 27 per cent IoD members thought HS2 represented value for money.
Although the government expects the project to cost £42.6 billion, the Institute of Economic Affairs, a think tank, has suggested it could rise to more than £80 billion.
Yasmin Qureshi, MP for Bolton South East, insisted Bolton must be promised economic growth for such a large investment.
She said: “The case for HS2 has been set out, showing the economic benefits for the North West and Bolton.
“However, I appreciate there are those who have concerns that the plans are not value for money. These concerns should be addressed objectively and investigated to clarify whether they have any merit.”
Cllr David Chadwick, a member of Transport for Greater Manchester’s committee, added: “I support the project going forward. There is a lot of evidence to show that we would benefit and I haven’t seen a great deal of evidence to suggest otherwise.”
“It would definitely help links between North and South and, as far as I’m concerned, I would like to see us benefit from the project.
“I just want Bolton to be a better place to live in and this project would surely achieve that.”
Comments are closed on this article.