Manifesto watch: HS2

In the first of three articles, we look at the approach the parties vying for your vote have to one of the biggest political issues in Aylesbury Vale.

Why it matters: The £50bn HS2 train line from London to Manchester will cut through Buckinghamshire, affecting residents in the likes of Wendover, Aylesbury, Quainton, Steeple Claydon, Calvert and Twyford.

What the parties say:

You won’t find much that unites UKIP and the Greens, but both are firmly opposed to HS2.

UKIP states that ‘HS2 is an unaffordable white elephant and, given other, far more pressing calls on public expenditure, such as the NHS, social care and defence, not to mention the need to reduce the deficit, it must face the axe’.

The Greens say the ‘money to be spent on this hugely expensive project, which at best will reduce journey times for a few passengers, would be much better spent on improving the conventional rail connections between various major cities, improving the resilience of the existing network to climate change and reopening lines and stations that have been closed’.

Conservatives, Lib Dems and Labour are all in favour of the scheme.

The Tories talk about it in terms of creating a ‘Northern powerhouse’ and mention building High Speed 3 to Scotland.

Similarly, the Lib Dems state they would ‘proceed with HS2, as the first stage of a high-speed rail network to Scotland’.

Labour’s tone is slightly more cautious: “We will continue to support the construction of High Speed Two, but keep costs down.”