The Member of Parliament for Chesterfield, Toby Perkins, and the Leader of the Borough Council, Tricia Gilby, joined forces in Westminster this week to put pressure on the Government to provide assurances that the next stage of HS2 will be going ahead. Mr Perkins and Cllr Gilby attended a meeting arranged by Midlands Connect with supporters of HS2 to place pressure on the Government ahead of the publication of recommendations following a review into the future of the scheme.
The Government’s ‘Oakervee Review’ was announced last year to investigate whether the next stage of HS2 should proceed, causing concerns for politicians in the Midlands and North that many of the benefits of the scheme will no longer benefit their constituencies.
Toby said, “The benefits of HS2 to Chesterfield cannot be underestimated. It is vital to businesses, commuters and growth in the Midlands that the Government proceed with the next stage of HS2 as a matter of urgency. As with any massive infrastructure project, there are delays, complications and added costs. But I can guarantee that 10 years after the scheme is finished, nobody will want to admit they ever opposed it due to the huge benefits it will have brought to the country. The business case, and the environmental case, for HS2 are strong, and we have to expand beyond the existing rail lines, many of which date back to Victorian times, if we are going to have the capacity to meet the ever-growing demand for rail travel.”
Cllr Gilby added, “HS2 is a once in a lifetime opportunity to deliver the biggest investment in north Derbyshire since the pits were sunk. It’s our greatest hope of a positive future for people who for too long have felt left behind and ignored. We need commitment now to complete HS2 in full.”