Nicholas Faith, writing in the Independent, says that “Opponents of this visionary high-speed rail project are guilty of a Big Lie”.
His article may not be a “Big Lie” but it shows clear misunderstandings about HS2, and why people are opposed to it.
Nicholas Faith says “The opposition is the more curious in a country whose people are supposedly concerned by the state of the environment”, and seems to imply that HS2 will be of use in tackling carbon dioxide emissions.
It won’t. HS2 Ltd themselves say that the best case is a reduction of less then 0.5% per year, and the worst case scenario is that operating HS2 will lead to an increase in carbon dioxide emissions. So, in reality the opposition to HS2 from people like the Green Party people is not at all curious.
He then moves onto the Big Lie: the idea that High Speed 2 is not about high speed. He says “speed is merely one of the advantages”.
If High Speed 2 is not about High Speed, then why is the speed the justification for so many of the major decisions in the HS2 design?
The Right Lines Charter group have more to say on the issue of speed. They are an alliance of environmental organisations who have produced a “Charter for doing High Speed Rail well”. They say the “detailed High Speed 2 (HS2) proposals are unsound at present and fall well short of these principles.”
On the subject of speed they refer to “inflexible objectives for HS2 to meet technical specifications – such as a theoretical top speed of 400km/h… Specifications and design speed should not be rigidly fixed in advance but be shaped by the opportunities to minimise impact and maximise benefit.”
Nicholas Faith also goes onto the “Small Lie” about HS2.
The proponents of HS2 have a “Smaller but even more Effective Lie” of their own
This is the one which says that HS1 is a good comparision to HS2. It isn’t. Nichlas Faith says that in Ashford “the inhabitants’ only complaint is that too few international trains now stop there.” Ashford has a station, one of several in Kent: but there are no HS2 stations on the line through Buckinghamshire, or Oxfordshire, or South Northamptonshire…