Bradford MP is among rebels on HS2 Bill

HS2 artists impression

HS2 artists impression

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Parliamentary Correspondent

Labour MP Gerry Sutcliffe has refused to back the HS2 high-speed rail project, arguing it does nothing for Bradford.

The Bradford South MP said the £42.6bn set aside for the scheme would be better spent on better local rail links, including Pennines services.

Mr Sutcliffe said: “HS2 is promising jam tomorrow, but we have got rail infrastructure problems now that we are not dealing with, particularly across the Pennines.

“The cost is too great and the technology may be overtaken, because it will be 20 years before HS2 is finally built.

“Also, the project is starting in the wrong place. If it is going to be built, the work should start in the North, not from London.”

Mr Sutcliffe spoke out as his party’s leadership ended uncertainty by backing the HS2 Bill at its second reading late last night. The legislation will grant the powers to build and operate the first phase of the line, between London and Birmingham, to be completed by 2026.

A ‘Y-shaped’ network will deliver extra lines to Leeds and Manchester, but not until 2033, after calls to start work from the North – as well as from London – were rebuffed.

Mr Sutcliffe’s opposition puts him in step with Labour-run Bradford City Council, which has also argued that the scheme offers little to the city.

Last night, Shipley Conservative MP Philip Davies restated his opposition, saying: “I believe HS2 is a huge waste of money that we simply cannot afford and is likely to simply extend the commuter belt for London.

“Money would be much better spent on local infrastructure projects, such as a Shipley Eastern Bypass.”

But fellow Conservative Kris Hopkins, the Keighley MP and Housing Minister, said: “We face a capacity crisis on our railways and HS2 is needed to deal with this. Demand for long-distance rail travel has doubled over the past decade and a half.

“And HS2 is just one part of the current Government’s work to improve our transport system. We are investing more than £70bn in all forms of transport by 2021.”

George Galloway (Respect, Bradford West) said: “I’m absolutely in favour of HS2, with the one caveat – that the benefits must spread to Bradford, so a proper link through Leeds is a must.”

And David Ward (Lib Dem, Bradford West) said: “HS2 is a once-in-a lifeline chance – a huge opportunity to create jobs.”

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has said Bradford could gain a two-hour rail link to London, as space is freed up on intercity lines.

Comments (11)

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6:35am Tue 29 Apr 14

Joedavid says...

"Throwing baby out with the bath water" comes to mind Mr Sutcliffe.
"Throwing baby out with the bath water" comes to mind Mr Sutcliffe. Joedavid
  • Score: -1

6:45am Tue 29 Apr 14

OLDLAD says...

Sounds similar to the argument when they built the M25 - it will speed up the movement into and out of London. Enough said.
Sounds similar to the argument when they built the M25 - it will speed up the movement into and out of London. Enough said. OLDLAD
  • Score: 5

7:16am Tue 29 Apr 14

Albion. says...

Lending money to bankrupt rugby clubs doesn't do a lot for Bradford either.
Lending money to bankrupt rugby clubs doesn't do a lot for Bradford either. Albion.
  • Score: 9

9:14am Tue 29 Apr 14

Thee Voice of Reason says...

£200k to OK Bulls that will take years to be repaid to the council could have been better spent Mr Sutcliffe.
£250k in unpaid PAYE & VAT by OK Bulls to HMRC could have gone to public services Mr Sutcliffe.
An unknown amount of unpaid Business rates could have paid for public services Mr Sutcliffe.

Funny how Mr Sutcliffe will pass comment on everything except OK Bulls of which he was a director.
£200k to OK Bulls that will take years to be repaid to the council could have been better spent Mr Sutcliffe. £250k in unpaid PAYE & VAT by OK Bulls to HMRC could have gone to public services Mr Sutcliffe. An unknown amount of unpaid Business rates could have paid for public services Mr Sutcliffe. Funny how Mr Sutcliffe will pass comment on everything except OK Bulls of which he was a director. Thee Voice of Reason
  • Score: 7

10:26am Tue 29 Apr 14

Not so simple says...

How much is this going to cost and it'll take around 20 years to complete! This a joke. Countries like China can have these built in under 5 years and at half the cost. WhT the heck are they making it out of: gold studded concrete?

Abandon this idea. I for one will not burden the poor tax payer anymore with this BS scheme to speed up rail connections.
Only people who will benefit are the rich landowners who will sell worthless pieces of land for millions via their pals in high places so the rail link can be built.

In this country: which ruled the world by the way; we are still living in the last century in terms of infrastructure and self development. We send tons of money to poor countries to build their infrastructure and yet we ignore our own.

In a nutshell: STOP WASTING OUR MONEY. If London wants HS2 then ask Londoners to pay for it.
How much is this going to cost and it'll take around 20 years to complete! This a joke. Countries like China can have these built in under 5 years and at half the cost. WhT the heck are they making it out of: gold studded concrete? Abandon this idea. I for one will not burden the poor tax payer anymore with this BS scheme to speed up rail connections. Only people who will benefit are the rich landowners who will sell worthless pieces of land for millions via their pals in high places so the rail link can be built. In this country: which ruled the world by the way; we are still living in the last century in terms of infrastructure and self development. We send tons of money to poor countries to build their infrastructure and yet we ignore our own. In a nutshell: STOP WASTING OUR MONEY. If London wants HS2 then ask Londoners to pay for it. Not so simple
  • Score: 6

10:38am Tue 29 Apr 14

sorrow&anger says...

“it does nothing for Bradford “. True, but then nothing ever does anything for Bradford. Until City Hall gets off its backside and takes a proactive approach every good thing will pass us by. George Galloway is right we need HS2 with a link to Bradford. We should organise and fight for that.

There's another GG story about electoral fraud in today's T&A. We all know it's going on, but instead of getting out and actively investigating it, our Returning Officer and Chief Executive, simply says that he hasn't actually heard any complaints and remains on his backside. It's this kind of lazy attitude that's destroying Bradford and making sure that we will never enjoy the benefits of projects like HS2.
“it does nothing for Bradford “. True, but then nothing ever does anything for Bradford. Until City Hall gets off its backside and takes a proactive approach every good thing will pass us by. George Galloway is right we need HS2 with a link to Bradford. We should organise and fight for that. There's another GG story about electoral fraud in today's T&A. We all know it's going on, but instead of getting out and actively investigating it, our Returning Officer and Chief Executive, simply says that he hasn't actually heard any complaints and remains on his backside. It's this kind of lazy attitude that's destroying Bradford and making sure that we will never enjoy the benefits of projects like HS2. sorrow&anger
  • Score: 9

12:13pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Out of site says...

Thee Voice of Reason wrote:
£200k to OK Bulls that will take years to be repaid to the council could have been better spent Mr Sutcliffe.
£250k in unpaid PAYE & VAT by OK Bulls to HMRC could have gone to public services Mr Sutcliffe.
An unknown amount of unpaid Business rates could have paid for public services Mr Sutcliffe.

Funny how Mr Sutcliffe will pass comment on everything except OK Bulls of which he was a director.
It's no good going on and on about the bulls,they should be wound up by HMRC any other type of business would have been wound up long ago,build a mosque on the tip there's more need for a mosque than an amateur rugby league club.
[quote][p][bold]Thee Voice of Reason[/bold] wrote: £200k to OK Bulls that will take years to be repaid to the council could have been better spent Mr Sutcliffe. £250k in unpaid PAYE & VAT by OK Bulls to HMRC could have gone to public services Mr Sutcliffe. An unknown amount of unpaid Business rates could have paid for public services Mr Sutcliffe. Funny how Mr Sutcliffe will pass comment on everything except OK Bulls of which he was a director.[/p][/quote]It's no good going on and on about the bulls,they should be wound up by HMRC any other type of business would have been wound up long ago,build a mosque on the tip there's more need for a mosque than an amateur rugby league club. Out of site
  • Score: -1

2:19pm Tue 29 Apr 14

basil fawlty says...

Yet more public money being poured into the coffers of our rich neighbours in Leeds and to the detriment of Bradford in particular who will be the biggest loser in West Yorkshire as the massive investment required to do something about our outdated Victorian roads and abysmal train stations and train services will now all but disappear 9 miles east to add to the hundreds of millions comitted to the Leeds to Manchester electrification scheme and other grandiose schemes like the £250M Leeds trolley bus scheme and the new £17M south entrance to Leeds station etc.
Yet more public money being poured into the coffers of our rich neighbours in Leeds and to the detriment of Bradford in particular who will be the biggest loser in West Yorkshire as the massive investment required to do something about our outdated Victorian roads and abysmal train stations and train services will now all but disappear 9 miles east to add to the hundreds of millions comitted to the Leeds to Manchester electrification scheme and other grandiose schemes like the £250M Leeds trolley bus scheme and the new £17M south entrance to Leeds station etc. basil fawlty
  • Score: 8

3:06pm Tue 29 Apr 14

angry bradfordian says...

Not so simple wrote:
How much is this going to cost and it'll take around 20 years to complete! This a joke. Countries like China can have these built in under 5 years and at half the cost. WhT the heck are they making it out of: gold studded concrete?

Abandon this idea. I for one will not burden the poor tax payer anymore with this BS scheme to speed up rail connections.
Only people who will benefit are the rich landowners who will sell worthless pieces of land for millions via their pals in high places so the rail link can be built.

In this country: which ruled the world by the way; we are still living in the last century in terms of infrastructure and self development. We send tons of money to poor countries to build their infrastructure and yet we ignore our own.

In a nutshell: STOP WASTING OUR MONEY. If London wants HS2 then ask Londoners to pay for it.
If the only people to benefit are 'rich landowners' why were the majority of MPs who voted against it the Tory ones from Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire whose constituencies the scheme runs through?
Thank goodness we have the sort of democratic process that allows this and stops it being built in 5 years like the Chinese would by just forcing 1000s off their land without any right to complain.

I don't understand how you can on one hand complain about our ancient infrastructure and then complain when something is done to improve it.
[quote][p][bold]Not so simple[/bold] wrote: How much is this going to cost and it'll take around 20 years to complete! This a joke. Countries like China can have these built in under 5 years and at half the cost. WhT the heck are they making it out of: gold studded concrete? Abandon this idea. I for one will not burden the poor tax payer anymore with this BS scheme to speed up rail connections. Only people who will benefit are the rich landowners who will sell worthless pieces of land for millions via their pals in high places so the rail link can be built. In this country: which ruled the world by the way; we are still living in the last century in terms of infrastructure and self development. We send tons of money to poor countries to build their infrastructure and yet we ignore our own. In a nutshell: STOP WASTING OUR MONEY. If London wants HS2 then ask Londoners to pay for it.[/p][/quote]If the only people to benefit are 'rich landowners' why were the majority of MPs who voted against it the Tory ones from Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire whose constituencies the scheme runs through? Thank goodness we have the sort of democratic process that allows this and stops it being built in 5 years like the Chinese would by just forcing 1000s off their land without any right to complain. I don't understand how you can on one hand complain about our ancient infrastructure and then complain when something is done to improve it. angry bradfordian
  • Score: 8

5:18pm Tue 29 Apr 14

linebacker2 says...

basil fawlty wrote:
Yet more public money being poured into the coffers of our rich neighbours in Leeds and to the detriment of Bradford in particular who will be the biggest loser in West Yorkshire as the massive investment required to do something about our outdated Victorian roads and abysmal train stations and train services will now all but disappear 9 miles east to add to the hundreds of millions comitted to the Leeds to Manchester electrification scheme and other grandiose schemes like the £250M Leeds trolley bus scheme and the new £17M south entrance to Leeds station etc.
Thought you'd know that Leeds & Manchester are to be spoon fed public money while the rest of the region can make do with a few scraps here and there..
[quote][p][bold]basil fawlty[/bold] wrote: Yet more public money being poured into the coffers of our rich neighbours in Leeds and to the detriment of Bradford in particular who will be the biggest loser in West Yorkshire as the massive investment required to do something about our outdated Victorian roads and abysmal train stations and train services will now all but disappear 9 miles east to add to the hundreds of millions comitted to the Leeds to Manchester electrification scheme and other grandiose schemes like the £250M Leeds trolley bus scheme and the new £17M south entrance to Leeds station etc.[/p][/quote]Thought you'd know that Leeds & Manchester are to be spoon fed public money while the rest of the region can make do with a few scraps here and there.. linebacker2
  • Score: 1

10:19pm Tue 29 Apr 14

bcfc1903 says...

Although I usually agree with George Galloway on this occasion I can't see the advantage to Bradford of HS2. The government wont even electrify the Bradford to Manchester Caldervale line so getting HS2 into Bradford would be very difficult to say the least. Our great city certainly suffers because of it's position being 12 miles south west of Leeds, yes the original plan should have run HS2 through to Bradford but even if that was the case I'd be struggling to see what benefits it would have for our city and it's half a million inhabitants. An over priced waste of money. Much better to use a fraction of that enormous pile of cash to electrify Caldervale, Improve Bradford Interchange and Forster Square stations and open a few more stations in the district and do something similar at various other places in the UK, a much better use of that vast amount of cash.
Although I usually agree with George Galloway on this occasion I can't see the advantage to Bradford of HS2. The government wont even electrify the Bradford to Manchester Caldervale line so getting HS2 into Bradford would be very difficult to say the least. Our great city certainly suffers because of it's position being 12 miles south west of Leeds, yes the original plan should have run HS2 through to Bradford but even if that was the case I'd be struggling to see what benefits it would have for our city and it's half a million inhabitants. An over priced waste of money. Much better to use a fraction of that enormous pile of cash to electrify Caldervale, Improve Bradford Interchange and Forster Square stations and open a few more stations in the district and do something similar at various other places in the UK, a much better use of that vast amount of cash. bcfc1903
  • Score: 2

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