Ukip pledge to scrap High Speed Rail to save £70bn

NIGEl FArage has labelled the High Speed Rail project set to reduce north south journey times an “environmental degradation”.

Nigel Farage

The Ukip leader has pledged to scrap HS2 and invest money in improving existing railways instead, claiming the £70bn cost of the project was money the UK does not have.

Mr Farage said: “Penzance is five hours 11 minutes from Paddington. It was quicker to get to Penzance before the First World War.

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“For a fraction of the money that the Government intends to spend on HS2, we can update, modernise railway lines around the country for the benefit of millions of people.

“We are not against modernisation, we are not against railways - far from it.”

Chancellor George Osborne’s plans to create a northern economic powerhouse would not require a high-speed railway, Mr Farage said.

He said: “The journey time from Paris to Marseilles used to be six hours, but with the TGV being built, Marseilles was three hours away.

“What we saw wasn’t more businesses moving to Marseilles, we saw companies in Marseilles headquartering in Paris.”

He went on to say that he quite enjoyed his two-hour journey to Manchester from London. “I can use that two hours to have a reasonable breakfast, do some work and have a beer on the way home.”