The High Speed Rail Industry Leaders (HSRIL) response to recent claims from The Taxpayers Alliance regarding alternative projects that could be undertaken if HS2 was scrapped.
A spokesman for HSRIL said:
“This appears to be the finest work of fantasy and fiction since JRR Tolkien last put down his pen.
“Whilst the other infrastructure projects noted in the TPA report may indeed have merit, in most cases they are currently only at an early planning stage, so comparing costs is completely misleading. And 40% of the TPA report’s ‘saving’ comes from getting the costs of Northern Powerhouse Rail completely wrong. They quote it at £18bn, whereas Transport for the North says that the project would cost £39bn. This leaves a £21bn black hole in their fantasy figures.
“As Cabinet Minister Amber Rudd said last week, support for HS2 is a true test of whether people are serious about long-term investment in Britain. The project is already underway and employing thousands of people. We need to finish the ob, and use HS2 to smash the north-south divide which has beset Britain for decades.
“Finally, the Taxpayers Alliance has long campaigned against HS2 without ever once revealing who funds them to do so. HSRIL campaigning is funded by its members, listed on our website. We challenge the TPA – who paid for this misleading and fantastical report?”