Speaking in a debate on the business case for HS2, Andrew Bridgen raises concerns that the hubs will not be in the city centres and additional uncosted infrastructure will be required to take passengers to the city centres.
I congratulate my right hon. Friend on securing this debate on a topic we have discussed many times. I voted against HS2 at every opportunity in the House of Commons. In 2013, I predicted that it would cost in excess of £100 billion. The then Secretary of State laughed, and I think he was quite right to—it is clear that the project will be far in excess of £100 billion.
Does my right hon. Friend recall the report by Sir John Armitt in August 2018? His committee stated that, given that hubs are no longer in the centre of cities but on the outskirts, an extra £43 billion of infrastructure spending would be required to make use of the current hub sites that have been chosen. That has not been programmed into the budget at all.
My hon. Friend makes an important point about the lack of point-to-point movement in HS2. Passengers do not end up at the Bullring in Birmingham, or in the west end of London; they just end up somewhere on the outskirts wondering how on earth they will get to where they want to.
Does my hon. Friend agree that HS2 appeared to be trying to create the perception that the project was beyond the point of no return—that we cannot stop it because so much money has been spent? Does she also agree that in business, the first loss is the best loss, and we are throwing good money after bad on this project?
I certainly do. I remember stating the figure of £100 billion on television, only to be told that it was ridiculous. Now it looks like a certainty, rather than the ridiculous proposal that others claimed it was.