Campaigners slam 'shambolic' HS2 after boss axed
Campaigners who oppose HS2 have hit out after the boss of the project resigned, calling the controversial rail scheme ‘shambolic’.
Sir Terry Morgan, chairman of Crossrail and HS2, has quit both roles amid reports he was due to be ousted from his post.
Stop HS2 chair Penny Gaines said: “Terry Morgan was clearly the wrong person for the job in the first place.
“Whilst Crossrail appeared to have far fewer problems, the reality was he’d managed to keep them quiet until he joined HS2 Ltd.
“HS2 is a shambolic project that the Department for Transport has always been unable to get to grips with.
“It should be put out of its misery and cancelled as soon as possible.
“HS2 is a project beyond saving, with plans to slow down and massively descope the project.
“The Government should put this railway out of its misery and cancel it entirely before spending any more tax payers money on it.”
HS2 is set to carve through 45 miles of Staffordshire countryside. Politicians including Boris Johnson fear it may end up costing more than double its projected cost of £56 billion.
The Government has announced that Allan Cook CBE has been appointed as the new chairman of HS2, with Sir Terry Morgan’s successor on Crossrail yet to be announced.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “Sir Terry has been an integral part of Crossrail for almost a decade. I would like to thank him for his dedication and the expertise he brought to the role. I am also grateful to him for his work as chair of HS2.
“HS2 is the country’s biggest infrastructure project and, with his wealth of experience, Allan Cook CBE is the right person to oversee the project as it progresses towards full construction.”
HS2 will provide services from London to Birmingham from 2026.
Stop HS2 campaign manager Joe Rukin said: “You cannot blame Terry Morgan for the mess at HS2 because it was years late and billions over-budget well before he arrived in July.
“The bottom line is that HS2 is a mess, it’s always been a mess, and imagining that this is the fault of a man who has only been in charge for four months is a delusional attempt by politicians to absolve themselves of the reality that it is their lack of scrutiny and objectivity that is responsible for HS2 being a disaster.”
Crossrail – London’s new east-west railway – was due to open this month but its launch has been pushed back until at least autumn next year due to delays in completing infrastructure and testing. The project’s budget had also been increased from £14.8 billion to £15.4bn in July due to ‘cost pressures’.
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