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Campaigners say changes to the way people work as a result of the coronavirus crisis has destroyed the business case for HS2.
The Government has confirmed the official start of construction of the controversial high speed rail line, which will cut through parts of Lichfield and the surrounding villages.
Boris Johnson said the project was expected to create 22,000 constructions jobs.
But Joe Rukin, campaign manager of Stop HS2, said changes to working as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic showed the need was no longer there for the line.
“The case for building HS2 has gone from questionable to completely non-existent.
“The passenger forecasts invented to justify this gargantuan white elephant started off as being grossly inflated, but now this idea that HS2 is needed because tens of thousands of people, will demand to commute even greater distances for work in the future, are just laughable.
“We’ve spent ten years trying to tell tin-eared politicians that working practices will change in the future and drastically reduce the need for travel, and even now it’s happened right in front of their eyes, they refuse to accept it.
“Trying to spin HS2 as a job creation scheme is beyond desperate – even if you take the Government’s low estimate of cost for phase 1 of HS2, creating 22,000 jobs works out at almost £2million just to create a single job, at a time when well-run businesses are going under every day.
“Boris Johnson is rather less keen to mention the 19,590 jobs that HS2 will permanently displace.”Joe Rukin, Stop HS2
Unveiling the start of construction for the high speed rail scheme, the Prime Minister said it would boost the economy across the UK.
“By creating hundreds of apprenticeships and thousands of skilled jobs, HS2 will fire up economic growth and help to rebalance opportunity across this country for years to come.”Boris Johnson
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