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Buckinghamshire County Council voted unanimously yesterday to halt work on HS2.

The design of the project, dubbed “Britain’s great vanity project” by The Guardian’s Simon Jenkins, has not yet been approved, and the full costs not made clear.

It is this uncertainty that led councillors to pass a motion yesterday calling on the government to halt all current work, including ground investigations, demolition and construction.

In a joint statement, council leaders said: “There is absolutely no justification why the County’s residents should suffer significant disruption and long-term environmental destruction while things remain so unclear.”

They added: “It’s massively disruptive to have HS2 contractors trampling all over the County doing preparatory work without the final scheme details even being known.”

Despite not yet having Notice to Proceed, £4bn has been spent on preparatory work for the project. The overall plans are estimated by the Treasury and others to cost between £80bn and £100bn.

Conservative councillor Martin Tett said: “The Government needs to be brave and radical – it is right to stop this project now.

“There are far better ways to spend this obscene amount of money including linking the north and rolling out ultra high broadband across the country.”

HS2 responded to the statement by council leaders, saying: “HS2 is real and happening.”

“Notice to proceed will happen this year, when we are ready.”

Image Credit: HS2 Ltd

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