HS2 bosses have been accused of “hypocrisy of the highest order” after figures reveal they spent more than £1million on “community engagement” in just three months.
The figures shows costs on community engagement are soaring, with the £1.1million spent over three months compared with £5million over the two previous years.
HS2 bosses have been accused of ‘hypocrisy of the highest order’ after figures reveal they spent more than £1million on ‘community engagement’ in just three months[/caption]
HS2 said the money covers the cost of their staff consulting households and community leaders affected by the rail line.
It is also used to pay for a 24/7 helpline and annual licences for 12 local community websites.
The revelation sparked fresh fury among anti-HS2 campaigners and comes days after it emerged the HS2 project is running £26 billion over budget and up to seven years late.
Taxpayers’ Alliance Grassroots Campaigns Manager Harry Fone blasted: “With the government finally owning up the true cost of HS2 this week, taxpayers’ are realising that the project is coming off the rails.
“The line will drive a wedge between communities, destroy the environment and become a bottomless pit for taxpayers’ cash. HS2 bosses shovelling cash into two-faced community engagement is hypocrisy of the highest order.
“There are better ways of spending this money, so instead of wasting millions cheerleading for the project, the government should simply scrap HS2 and redivert the funds into popular and affordable local transport links.”
Boris Johnson is due to make a “go or no-go” decision on the entire HS2 project in the autumn.
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He launched a review after becoming PM in the summer.
It will consider reducing the planned 250mph speed of the trains, moving the terminal to Old Oak Common in West London rather than Euston and whether to just build the London to Birmingham stretch of the rail line.
It will conduct a root-and-branch review of the costs of scrapping the scheme, the potential for efficiency savings and look again at the business case for HS2.
The construction site for the HS2 high-speed rail scheme in Euston, London[/caption]
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