Over the next few days, Stop Hs2 will be looking at the Consultation questions, and suggesting things you may wish to consider when you answer them.
As we said yesterday, Local Action Groups and others are looking very carefully at the consultation documents, and will be submitting extended answers to the consultation, after the results of some FOI requests have come back.
From the Consultation documents:
The questions on which the Government is seeking views are set out below. In each case, the Government is interested in whether or not you agree with its proposals and why, as well as in any additional evidence that you feel it should consider in reaching its final decisions.
1. This question is about the strategy and wider context:
Do you agree that there is a strong case for enhancing the capacity and performance of Britain’s inter-city rail network to support economic growth over the coming decades?
Although the rail network plays a part in economic growth, so do other types of transport infrastructure. These include (sea) ports, which clearly pay a major role in Britain’s export industry.
The government wants economic growth to be sustainable, and help produce a low-carbon economy. As the main HS2 consultation document reminds us:
1.11 The Government’s support for high speed rail was set out clearly in its Programme for Government, published on 20 May 2010, which states that:
“We will establish a high speed rail network as part of our programme of measures to fulfil our joint ambitions for creating a low carbon economy. Our vision is of a truly national high speed rail network for the whole of Britain.”
However, in February Philip Hammond wrote to MPs about HS2, saying the “proposed London-West Midlands line is expected to be broadly carbon neutral“.
So when you are answering question one, you may wish to consider what types of enhancements could be made, and how sustainable they are.
Maybe large scale enhancements to the rail network should only be done in a way that ensures that the rail network will cause significantly lower carbon emissions after the enhancement took place?