There are numerous problems with HS2. Here are just six reasons why MPs should vote against the High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Bill on Wednesday:
- The Phase 2 route for HS2 from Birmingham to Manchester and Birmingham to Leeds is still undecided, apart from the short section to Crewe. HS2 is supposed to be about helping the north, and yet decisions about the route north from Birmingham have been delayed and delayed again.
- The National Infrastructure Commission, chaired by Andrew Adonis (who set up HS2 originally) said this week that “the North needs immediate and very significant investment for action now”. Even Phase 1 of HS2 won’t open until 2026 at the earliest.
- Plans for Euston are a mess. HS2 platforms will be added in two stages, taking from 2017 to 2033. A third phase would be needed to improve the existing station for passengers on conventional trains: this would require further funding. Meanwhile the boss of Go-ahead group is “slightly paranoid” that the work at Euston will be as bad as the five year redevelopment at London Bridge.
- HS2 costs have increased time and again, and are now standing at £55 billion.
- HS2 was supposed to be part of “the greenest government ever” to reduce carbon. But HS2 Ltd documents say that not only will HS2 cause increased carbon emissions for the first sixty years of operation due to the carbon costs of building it, but that even after 120 years – that’s the year 2145 – HS2 may still be causing increased carbon emissions.
- HS2 will cause damage to numerous wildlife sites along the route. These include over 100 wildlife sites directly affected, with another 92 indirectly affected and loss or damage to 63 ancient woodland sites.
If you haven’t already done so, please get in touch with your MP to ask them to vote against HS2 at the third reading on Wednesday.