HUDDERSFIELD MP Barry Sheerman has come out fighting for a high-speed rail link for Yorkshire.
Transport Secretary Philip Hammond was urged to “keep his nerve” as he faced calls by a group of business leaders, politicians and economists for the multi-billion pound high-speed rail line to be scrapped.
Senior Labour MP Mr Sheerman called on Mr Hammond to “ignore the deniers” and claimed cities in the North needed high-speed links.
Mr Hammond told MPs that opponents of the project had identified themselves and their interests in it. Now was time for supporters to highlight the benefits.
In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, the 21 signatories, including former Tory Chancellor Lord Lawson of Blaby, dismissed the scheme as unaffordable.
They branded the project, known as HS2, an “expensive white elephant”.
The project, which could cost as much as £34 billion, involves a new London-Birmingham line and eventual links to Leeds, Manchester and Glasgow. The group said it was not what the economy needed.
At Commons question time, Mr Sheerman said: “Could I ask you to keep your nerve on this, our cities need high-speed links, certainly in Yorkshire and the northern regions, and ignore the deniers, the climate change deniers who have been publishing letters this morning.”
Mr Hammond replied: “Those who are opposed to the building of this line have clearly identified themselves and their direct interests in it.
“It is now for those who will stand to benefit the most, particularly in our great northern cities, to voice their support during the consultation period.”