Opponents of the government’s controversial HS2 project to link London and the Midlands via high-speed rail are viewing the appointment of Justine Greening to the role of Transport Secretary as an opportunity to have the plans scrapped. Ms Greening has replaced Philip Hammond in the top transport position after he was made Secretary for Defence last Friday, following the resignation of Liam Fox.
Campaign group Stop HS2 has called upon all those who do not want to see the government spend £32 billion on the rail project to write to Ms Greening and make their feelings known. Penny Gains, the campaign’s social media director, said that most responses to a government consultation on the HS2 scheme were negative.
She added that Ms Greening now has the opportunity to completely rethink the government’s policy when it comes to high-speed rail. Meanwhile, Ms Greening has been talking to the Transport Select Committee in the Commons about the project. She said that she would not review the project from an emotional standpoint, but rather from a rational one.
Ms Greening told ministers that she had no plans to delay a decision and that one would be made before the end of the year. She added that her department was going to have to make quite a few important decisions concerning transport infrastructure.
The MP went on to say that it was hard not to see the obvious benefits of the project, and pointed out that similar schemes were working well in other European countries. She added that the decision was an extremely important one.