The Prime Minister has given his support to a new £7 billion high-speed rail service linking Hull and Liverpool, following a report by HS2 boss Sir David Higgins.
Mr Cameron welcomed the report and said that improving the UK’s infrastructure was “crucial” for the country, particularly given recent estimates that the population of the UK is set to rise by over 10 million in the next 25 years.
He said that the new service, which would also link Manchester to Leeds, would help to strengthen the economy and would boost the productivity of the major northern cities.
Although ‘HS3’, as it’s being dubbed, is still only in the planning stage, its sister project ‘HS2’ has not been without criticism.
Campaigners are angry at the cost of the project and the damage to the environment caused by its construction, despite reassurances from the Government that ‘HS2’ will be carbon neutral and will actually benefit the economy in the long run.
These are fears that they believe will be intensified with the potential development of ‘HS3’.
Speaking exclusively to Brighton Broadcaster News, former newscaster Frank Partridge, who is now the Chair of ‘Denham Against the HS2’, believes the Government aren’t telling the truth about the true economic and environmental cost of the project.
“We think the Government’s lied about how much it’s going to cost, they’re saying £43bn, we’re saying minimum of £80bn. They’re saying that it’s going to be carbon neutral, we’re saying it’s going to be carbon guzzling”.
He also doubted the potential of the service to narrow the north-south divide and claims that the compensation packages offered to those affected by HS2’s construction is “inadequate”.
Mr Partridge called on backbench MPs to stand up against the Government and was sure that those in Buckinghamshire and other affected areas would do so.
With campaigners holding firm on their desire to prevent the development of HS2, and now HS3, the Prime Minister faces a tough battle to get parliamentary backing for either development.
Even if HS2 does muster enough support, work on its construction won’t begin until 2017 and it’s not scheduled to finish until 2025 at the earliest, while 'HS3' doesn't even have a proposed timeline yet.