20 Oct 2014

HS2 should be scrapped not extended

Tonight's council meeting includes a motion supporting the "20 miles more" campaign to link Liverpool to the proposed HS2 railway line. However, when it comes to HS2 we don’t’ need 20 miles more we need 200 miles less.

The government’s own estimate of the costs of HS2 currently stand at £50 billion. That is just the financial cost and excludes numerous other costs including destruction of housing, green belt and agricultural land, disruption to local communities and damage to at least 10 sites of special scientific interest.

Moreover, £50 billion can be far better spent upgrading existing rail infrastructure, removing bottlenecks and improving intra regional links including the proposal for high speed rail linking Liverpool to Hull.

Green MEP Jean Lambert shows her opposition to HS2
HS2 will undoubtedly in my view further entrench the lopsided nature of our economy by concentrating jobs and investment in London and the South East.

Of course, it is not just the Green Party that opposes HS2. To quote Frank Field MP during the debate on HS2 in parliament earlier this year:

HS2 would negate all other major programmes. It would prevent a new route from being built from Liverpool to Hull to Newcastle.

"Further to this, I question whether HS2 will go beyond Birmingham. I totally reject the view that HS2 will take jobs and influence from London to the North: it’s much more likely to suck even more resources to the London axis.

"That’s the reason why I’m voting against the HS2 Bill today

These are also some of the reasons I’ll be voting against this motion.

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