WARRINGTON'S MPs have clashed over the faltering HS2 railway project.

The project is currently under review due to the expanding costs of the railway, with the Prime Minister and Chancellor reportedly 'considering' the future of HS2.

Having been in the pipeline for a number of years, the project was intended to strengthen transport links across the country.

However, a number of council leaders have signed an open letter to the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, urging him to press on with the project.

Warrington Guardian: Cllr Bowden signed a letter condemning any suggestion of shutting down the projectCllr Bowden signed a letter condemning any suggestion of shutting down the project (Image: Newsquest)

The letter was signed by Cllr Russ Bowden, leader of Warrington Borough Council, and explains that if the project is cut then it will deprive the north west's economy of £2billion every year.

One portion included in the open letter to Rishi Sunak reads: "Cancellation of HS2 would have a significant impact on private sector confidence in Cheshire and Warrington and throw away the opportunities the line offers to grow the economy and level up under-performing parts of the north."

Warrington North's Labour MP, Charlotte Nichols, has weighed in on the debate.

Ms Nichols told the Warrington Guardian: "The Cabinet are squabbling over the consequences of their economic failure, but their mixed messages on HS2 are fuelling the uncertainty that is driving up costs.

"Big infrastructure projects can’t be delivered effectively under these conditions.

"If the Conservatives have spent thirteen years preparing HS2, spending billions of pounds and massively disrupting lives before discovering that they have mismanaged the finances so badly that they scrap the northern legs it will perfectly encapsulate their failure and neglect."

Warrington Guardian: Ms Nichols has condemned the Government for its handling of the projectMs Nichols has condemned the Government for its handling of the project (Image: Parliament TV)

The Labour MP added: "Having successfully fought to remove the Golborne Spur from the plans, Warrington wants to see the benefit of greater north-south connectivity and capacity.

"Anything less and we will have seen our time and money wasted when we could instead have improved cross-Pennine links and local services.

"Northern taxpayers have contributed so much to this project already, and if the Tories pull the plug they will be abandoning the possibility of Northern Powerhouse Rail and we will be left with nothing.

She concluded: "Everything this Conservative government touches goes wrong.

"Let’s instead have a general election so we can elect a government actually committed to the north and to our infrastructure needs.”

Conservative MP for Warrington South, Andy Carter, has waded into the conversation, telling the Warrington Guardian: "I’ve always argued for improvements to east-west travel to be a priority and I’ve championed Warrington Bank Quay as a hub station for Northern Powerhouse Rail, which I’m pleased the Government confirmed in the £96billion Integrated Rail Plan announced in 2021.

"Passenger trains will run on the old Fiddlers Ferry line to Liverpool, a new high-speed line between Warrington, Manchester and Yorkshire, as part of Northern Powerhouse Rail.

“It’s quite right that the Prime Minister challenges the cost management of HS2 and the viability of the scheme. Overspends on HS2 means we can make less improvements elsewhere to regional services."

Warrington Guardian: Andy Carter MP has said that reviewing the project is a sensible course of actionAndy Carter MP has said that reviewing the project is a sensible course of action (Image: Parliament TV)

He added: “The original plans were also about increasing capacity along the West Coast Main Line so that we can take freight off the roads, however, we simply can’t have an open chequebook for the project to double in price, particularly as train travel has fundamentally changed since the pandemic with far fewer business journeys made because of increased use of video calls.

“It’s important we take the right long-term decisions, with all the facts, so I’ve written to the Prime Minister asking him to ensure that connectivity through Warrington is enhanced to benefit local people and business in the region.”

Transport for the North Chair Lord McLoughlin said: “The northern leaders spoke with one voice today.

"We need HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail built, in full, if we are to realise the full potential of the North and to level up our national economy.

"Let us not delay.”