Everyone is entitled to write to members of the House of Lords. Unlike the Commons, where Members of Parliament specifically represent their constituents, and can ignore everyone else, Lords do not have specific constituencies. So anyone can write to them about anything – and with the HS2 vote coming up on Thursday, now is an appropriate time to contact them about it and ask them to vote against HS2.
Perhaps the prime reason that Members of the House of Lords should look carefully at the HS2 bill is that the House of Commons had only 37 minutes to debate HS2 in the third reading.
For a project that will cost upwards of £55 billion, this is a ridiculously short time, working out at about £1.5 billion per minute of debate. If the House of Lords is to function effectively to scrutinise the government they should ensure the debate there is not rushed – whatever they think about HS2 itself.
We have previously posted numerous problems with the HS2 railway and the HS2 Bill itself.
Problems with the Bill include the way the Bill allows for a land-grab, with Clause 48 of the Bill allow the Secretary of State to take over any land anywhere in the country. (Meanwhile Network Rail are seeing off land they own.) It also enables the Secretary of State to close down railway services without following the provisions in the Railways Act 2005 (Clause 40 of the Bill).
We also listed 6 reasons to vote against HS2 last month. These range from issues around carbon and ancient woodland, to the mess at Euston and the long delays in making decisions on the Phase 2 route of HS2.
You are entitled to write to the House of Lords, so please contact them to let them know about the problems with HS2 – you can get their details from http://www.theyworkforyou.com/peers/ and also by following the instructions on the Parliamentary website.