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Campaigners blast “unbelievable” announcement of HS2 budget increase

Campaigners have described the £10billion rise in the budget for HS2 as “unbelievable”.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the total cost of developing the high speed rail route – which will cut through parts of Lichfield and the surrounding villages – would now be around £42billion.

He added that a sizeable contingency fund had been built into the financial planning of the project.

However, Stop HS2 campaign manager Joe Rukin believes the increased costs cannot be justified at a time of austerity elsewhere across the country.

“The casual way in which a 30 per cent jump in the costs of HS2 has been announced by the Transport Secretary, which almost completely wipes out the cuts made in the spending review is unbelievable,” he said.

“The Department for Transport have always said the costs wouldn’t go up as there was an ample contingency built in, but now we know, like everything else which has been said about the case for HS2, that this was completely false.

“There are still loads of items which have yet to be added into the costs and the costs for this project will only continue to spiral.

“To push ahead with HS2 blindly because it sounds like it must be a good idea is simply insane and a kick in the teeth to everyone affected by the cuts.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.