A coalition of activists has joined forces to condemn the economic, environmental and human costs of the High Speed 2 project in a new advert published across national media.
Seven campaign groups representing diverse interests, including the TaxPayers’ Alliance, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, are asking the public to make their opposition known to MPs including Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
With the third reading of the High Speed Rail Bill in the House of Lords set for tomorrow, the threat of HS2 becoming a reality is closing in fast. The £55.7bn project is due to be rubber-stamped by MP’s and awarded Royal Assent in the coming weeks.
Outside of HS2 Ltd, the Department for Transport and the cabal of lobbyists and contractors that stand to directly benefit from its construction, it is hard to find many people who are enthused by the prospect of spending a vast amount of money on a project that will not deliver its self-imposed objectives, be environmentally destructive and provide appalling value for money.
HS2 cannot meet its stated objective of delivering ‘hugely enhanced capacity and connectivity between our major conurbations’ because it is an ill-conceived and fundamentally flawed design to link London, the Midlands and the North. The proof of HS2’s failings are laid out here.
In a letter to transport secretary Chris Grayling, Treasury Select Committee chair Andrew Tyrie MP criticised the government’s latest economic business case published in November, which bumped up the projected benefit-to-cost ratio to £2.70 for every £1 spent, up from £1.10 for every £1 spent stated previously.
Quentin Macdonald, Systems Engineering Principal at HSUK:
“HS2 is highly controversial because of HS2 Ltd’s failure to evaluate cheaper and better alternatives. It needs an immediate design review. Its cost is exorbitant, its business case is lousy, and has insufficient new capacity and poor connectivity. It does serious environmental damage to the Chilterns AONB and to Ancient Woodlands; it demolishes 500+ homes and fails to reduce CO2.”
HSUK is a fully designed, mapped, timetabled and costed high speed rail plan designed by highly experienced British railway engineers. HSUK’s route is mostly on the surface following the noise polluting M1 and other established transport corridors and between London and Birmingham requires just 11.8 km of tunnel, 6.6% of the route. HS2 has unprecedented lengths of highly expensive tunnel between London and Birmingham; 50.1 km, 28.6% of the route. HS2 also intrudes into sensitive areas, including the Chilterns AONB, which HSUK avoids entirely.
HSUK would connect many more cities, meet climate change targets and fulfil the objectives of HS3 to create a ‘Northern Powerhouse’. It provides 4 tracks of North-South capacity and, on a like-for-like basis, costs £21bn less than HS2. Moreover, HSUK would fully integrate with the existing rail network and improve regional economies across the UK.
Detailed HSUK maps can be seen here.
For more information, please visit www.highspeeduk.co.uk