THE Euro MP for Burton has questioned the Government’s grip on the budget of the controversial high-speed rail scheme HS2.
Mike Nattrass, the UK Independence Party MEP for the West Midlands, spoke out after latest figures from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors showed the cost farmland had trebled since 2004 to £7,440 per acre.
The planned route for HS2 will come to within 10 miles of Burton and cut through large swathes of Staffordshire farmland.
It has come under fierce criticism since it was announced in January.
Mr Nattrass said he believed the cost of HS2 will eventually exceed £100 billion and questioned the Government’s ability to afford the project.
He said: “The HS2 business case is deeply flawed and will widen the North-South divide as those with skills will travel south to work. The English countryside will be destroyed for no good reason.”
Mr Nattrass also said a new report from the Government’s public accounts committee, which claimed HS2 would not boost regional economies, made ‘grim reading’.
He said: “I will continue to fight HS2 as common sense must prevail.”