The ‘Paving Bill’ went through the final stage at the House of Commons today, allowing the Government to start spending money on preparations for the HS2 rail project. With controversy surrounding the high-profile rail enhancement high, this latest move is set to cause waves amongst those due to feel its ill effects.
Askar Sheibani, CEO of IT and telecoms repair company Comtek, chairman of Deeside Industrial Park, and Entrepreneurship Champion for Wales, gives his comments on this news below:
“News that MPs have voted to release money for the poorly planned and hugely expensive HS2 project is both disappointing and signifies a real low point in British investment. The Government may have won over MPs, but they have failed to convince the public and the business community that this is a project worth supporting, not least because reports have shown no real proof that HS2 is worth the money expected to be spent on it.
“Coming hot on the heels of a number of high profile failed Government projects, it’s no wonder that the public is sceptical about the success of HS2. After all, who can forget the abandoned NHS Electronic Patient record system – now classed as one of the biggest IT failures the country has ever seen?
“With Britain’s economy still in a vulnerable state, the Government should be focusing investment on ‘bread and butter’ projects that are low-risk and inexpensive, such as local rail modernisation. Investing in such projects, like the Wrexham to Liverpool rail line, will bring immediate benefits and enhance the local communities, resulting in a domino effect of economic development across the whole country. The Government would therefore be well advised to rethink today’s move and consider the localities as the real focus of its investment plans going forward.”