Responding to the news that electrification work on the Midland mainline and on the Transpennine route between Leeds and Manchester will be "paused", Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:
"The Secretary of State is right to ensure that electrification delivers value for money, but the delaying of this project is in part a result of the billions being put aside to build a high-speed white elephant. If only the same stringent tests ensuring taxpayers' money isn't wasted were applied to HS2.
"We have been promised time and time again that the money being pumped into HS2 would not affect the delivery of other infrastructure projects, but it's clear that it is now cannibalising the rest of the railway budget and other upgrades with far more robust business plans are being shelved. Taxpayers will demand that incompetence at Network Rail is punished, but also question why ministers are pushing ahead with exactly the kind of politically driven grand project warned against in the Eddington Report."