CORONAVIRUS has shown that HS2 is not needed.

That is the message from Esther McVey, Conservative MP for Tatton, who believes the online meetings held by workplaces in lockdown will be more common in the years ahead than cross-country travel for work.

The long-standing critic of HS2 says Government should be focusing on better digital infrastructure rather than spending £100 billion on the high speed rail link that would run through mid Cheshire's countryside between London and Manchester when fully built.

Ms McVey told the Guardian: "Covid-19 has shown we do not need journey times to London reduced slightly – we need better connectivity both locally and digitally.

"The strain on our railways has moved online and I want Government to prioritise new digital infrastructure and ensure all our communities have high quality and fast speed broadband and improve our connectivity that way – not through wasting £100 billion on high speed rail.

"In a post-Covid world, while I believe many will return to offices and workplaces, I think there will be a huge change in how meetings are done and gone will be the days of wasting a whole day travelling long distances for a meeting."

Instead of the rail project, Ms McVey is eager to see cash spent on making sure the country has a level playing field when it comes to fast broadband.

It comes as recent Government figures highlighted that Mobberley, Plumley, High Legh, Comberbach, Lostock and Wincham – all in Tatton – have some of the worst broadband speeds in the country.

Ms McVey added: "This Government is committed to ending the north south divide through the Northern Powerhouse and we must have the same with digital infrastructure.

"I want our small villages to have as high speeds as large towns and I told Government ministers we cannot create another postcode lottery.

"None of us know what our new normal will be as we adapt to the challenges of Coronavirus but one thing, I am certain of is HS2 is not right for Tatton and I will keep speaking out about this."