Kenilworth Stop HS2 campaigner slams business organisation for 'get on with it despite the cost' attitude toward high-speed rail project

Stop HS2 campaign manager Joe Rukin at the protest camp in South Cubbington Wood.
Stop HS2 campaign manager Joe Rukin at the protest camp in South Cubbington Wood.

Stop HS2 campaigner Joe Rukin has slammed the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) in response to comments it has made in support of the high-speed rail project.

Responding to the news that HS2 could cost more and take longer to build that previously thought, CBI Director of Infrastructure Tom Thackray said:

Stop HS2 protest campers at South Cubbington Wood

Stop HS2 protest campers at South Cubbington Wood

“HS2 promises to bring huge economic benefits across the country so today’s announcement of the delay is disappointing.

"But the message from business on the project remains consistent – build it, back it, benefit from it.

“Of course today’s report may be a clarion call for those anti-HS2 voices but businesses believe derailing the scheme would be a significant economic restraint on the Midlands and The North.

In response Mr Rukin, of Kenilworth, who is the Campaign Manager for Stop HS2 and has been involved with the two protest camps being set up in South Cubbington Wood and Crackley Wood, has said: "

"In calling for the Government to scrap the long overdue scrutiny of this project, the CBI have lost all credibility.

"It is exactly this sort of 'let's just get on with it, no matter what the cost' attitude which has led to the complete mismanagement of the project, the rampant cost escalation, the abandonment of all original timescales and a complete lack of support from the general public.

"Yet again an organisation which is acting as a mouthpiece from the vested interest construction sector who intend to cash in billions from building HS2 has simply invented illusionary benefits in an act of desperation to stop this project being cancelled."

Penny Gaines, Chair of Stop HS2, added: "In the last two months it has been revealed that HS2 is vastly over-budget and massively behind schedule and yet the CBI are refusing to acknowledge that there are any downsides to the project.

"Part of the review was to look at alternatives to the existing program schedule for HS2, and this have been dismissed out of hand by the vested interest lobbyists at the CBI, With a price tag of £80 billion and rising, HS2 is simply the wrong project for the country."