Bolton MPs back controversial HS2 rail plan
BOLTON MPs have helped the controversial £42.6 billion HS2 rail project clear its latest parliamentary hurdle.
Two of Bolton’s three Labour MPs, Julie Hillling and David Crausby, have backed the scheme but warned their support was contingent on the government keeping costs for the project, between London and the North of England, under control.
The High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill cleared the Commons, with 350 MPs in favour and 34 against.
The legislation now releases funds to pay for surveys, buy property and compensate evicted residents.
Bolton North East MP Mr Crausby said: “Although I voted in favour, I was initially concerned Labour wasn’t as committed as most Labour MPs from the North West thought it ought to be.
“This is not just about speed, it’s about the capacity on our railways and about connecting the North and then into Scotland with London and with the rest of the continent. It’s about passengers and it’s also about freight and this project is very important.”
Bolton West MP Ms Hilling said: “I backed the proposal in the Commons because I believe it will bring growth to the North West and to Bolton. We don’t have sufficient capacity and if we want that we need to create more rolling stock and track. My message to the government is that they need to keep a grip on costs because we can’t give them a blank cheque.”
Cllr David Chadwick, a representative on the Greater Manchester Transport Executive, said: “I am delighted by this decision. My advice to government would be to not now prevaricate but get on with it.”
Emma Antrobus, a Bolton member and policy and campaigns manager at the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, also welcomed the decision.
She said: “HS2 will benefit the whole of the region, including towns like Bolton, through the creation of jobs and increased productivity.
“The economic benefit to Greater Manchester has been assessed to be about £1.3 billion per year when it is built and Bolton will share in that.”
Bolton South East MP Yasmin Qureshi, was unavailable for comment.
Comments are closed on this article.