Scrapping HS2 eastern leg 'a disaster for Chesterfield', says MP

Chesterfield’s MP has slammed the Government’s decision to scrap the eastern leg of HS2 as a ‘betrayal of a manifesto commitment’.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 5:51 pm

Labour’s Toby Perkins reacted angrily to news the long-awaited high speed link for Chesterfield had been cancelled – and hundreds of jobs from the building of a train maintenance depot at Staveley put in doubt.

“This is a straightforward betrayal of a manifesto commitment by the Conservatives and makes a mockery of their claims to ‘level up’ all parts of our country,” he said.

"This decision really is a disaster for Chesterfield and Staveley and puts businesses in our area at a serious disadvantage.

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Chesterfield’s MP Toby Perkins has slammed the Government’s decision to scrap the eastern leg of HS2 as a ‘betrayal of a manifesto commitment’.

“So many plans for our town and the region had been built around the expectation – the Government promise – that the eastern leg would be happening.

"We are going to lose out on the major economic benefits that the route would have brought, and the new plans don’t address the capacity problems on our rail network.

“The Staveley depot would have created hundreds of local jobs, but an even bigger impact will be from the potential economic growth and job creation that HS2 would have brought in the long-term but has now been lost.”

Mr Perkins said that as well as helping to reduce carbon emissions, the eastern leg of HS2 was estimated to create 74,000 new jobs and add an extra £4bn a year to the regional economy.

He added: “All the talk of the ‘Midlands Engine’, ‘Northern Powerhouse’, and ‘levelling-up, was clearly hot air from an untrustworthy and uncaring Government. They are selling the region short and have betrayed the voters who believed their election promises.”

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said in the House of Commons: "This new blueprint delivers three high-speed lines. First, that's Crewe to Manchester.

"Second, Birmingham to the East Midlands with HS2 trains continuing to central Nottingham and central Derby, Chesterfield and Sheffield on an upgraded mainline.”

Chesterfield Borough Council leader, Coun Tricia Gilby, said she was ‘deeply disappointed’ by the Government’s broken promises.

However, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust applauded the decision.

Spokesperson Nikki Williams said: “The Wildlife Trusts have long campaigned against HS2 – alongside thousands of others – because of the huge damage it will do to nature and communities along the route.”