UKIP Transport spokesman Jill Seymour today told Chancellor George Osborne how he could achieve his latest round of deep spending cuts in one fell swoop – by scrapping the HS2 rail link.
The Department of Transport is one of four Government departments which has agreed to cut spending by more than 30% over the next four years as part of Tory party austerity measures.
Mrs Seymour, a West Midlands MEP who sits on the EU’s Transport committee, said: “It will be a disgrace and a scandal, if the HS2 project presses ahead as planned in the light of this announcement.
“Aside from tearing up swathes of our countryside to benefit a small minority of commuters, this vanity project looks like costing as much as £80 billion – it’s difficult to quote an exact figure, as it seems to increase every week. Meanwhile, our conventional railways remain woefully under-funded, and many of our major roads are in a terrible state of disrepair.
“By scrapping HS2, the Department of Transport would not only be meeting its quota of cuts, but would still have significant sums left over to invest into improving our existing road and rail network starting by filling in the millions of potholes which are damaging people’s vehicles.”
Mrs Seymour said the Department of Transport should also act to scrap the estimated £500 million it currently spends on subsidies for people who buy electric cars.
“I have no issue with these cars – in fact, I must admit I was mightily impressed when I drove one of the latest models during a visit to Birmingham recently – but there must be a level playing field.
“The benefits of electrically driven vehicles should stand for themselves. If people want them, they should pay for them, just like everyone else.”