STOP HS2 PLANS FOR INDEPENDENT SLATE AT NEXT GENERAL ELECTION.

Stop HS2 has announced plans to run a slate of Independent Stop HS2 candidates at the next General Election.  
The national campaign group said that it could stand independent candidates in parliamentary seats along the preferred route in the event that the Government pushes on with the scheme this December. There will also be scope to stand candidates along the extended ‘Y’ route to Leeds & Manchester after it is announced in March 2012. If Philip Hammond announces that HS2 will go ahead in December, Stop HS2 will seek to meet the cost of parliamentary deposits in the new year it by inviting financial pledges from the general public to fight seats at the next election. Of the 26 seats that are affected by the first phase of HS2, the majority are held by Conservative MPs including a number of seats held by Government Ministers re-elected in 2010 on a platform of defeating ‘Labour’s’ proposed scheme. Stop HS2’s plans may include a swathe of parliamentary seats if the routes to the north of Birmingham are chosen before the next election, specifically targeting HS2-supporting MPs.

 

Stop HS2 Campaign co-ordinator Joe Rukin who stood in the last general election purely as an awareness raising exercise said:

 

“HS2 is the perfect example of how the system has failed. It started off with Lord Adonis, an unelected and unaccountable official telling the Department for Transport not to look at what was best for the rail infrastructure, but simply to design a high speed rail line to Birmingham and justify it. There was no discussion about whether or not it was a good idea and this is still the case. Since then we have had a ridiculously biased public consultation on what are incomplete and unreliable plans, and Philip Hammond MP has more or less admitted he will ignore the responses to that stating ‘it’s not a referendum’. If he gets up in Parliament in December and says he’s decided to go ahead, he will be giving a go ahead to spending £817m before a brick is laid, without a vote, purely on his nod. If he does that, he will have given us no choice.”

 

“Many MPs have been highly supportive of the campaign. We thank them for that and it is unlikely they would face a challenge. However, with the Ministers who have said they might resign because of HS2, we have to say that if Philip Hammond says he is pressing ahead as expected in December, that moment is your deadline. To the pro-HS2 Environment Secretary Caroline Spellman we say that if you continue go against your constituents and back a vanity project which is environmentally damaging, and you then get parachuted somewhere else after boundary changes, we will follow you. If you want to stand up for the environment, you can join the Caroline Lucas, the Green Party Leader along with a host of other MPs when we hand the Stop HS2 petition in to Downing Street on Tuesday.”

 

“At the last election, HS2 was a new thing, but it has been the single biggest issue staying in the public sphere in many areas, simply because of just how bad a plan it is, and to even think of it at this time is beyond bizarre. There is already enough of a groundswell in terms of public opinion for this to translate into an impact on election results in some areas and this will only get bigger and more widespread. There are many MPs north of Lichfield whose support for HS2 will be more challenged when more of their constituents know what it really means, and they have to start thinking about that. The bottom line is that any MP blinding supporting HS2 clearly hasn’t understood or been willing to listen to the case against.”

 

“We urge the Government to step back from this grandiose project which has been developed by unaccountable technocrats based on a narrow brief.  The proposals simply do not stand up to independent scrutiny, and the cost to the general public is truly eye-watering, it will benefit only the richest in society and this at a time of such financial hardship. Instead it would be more prudent to invest the tens of billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money that have been earmarked for HS2 in more broad-based improvements to existing national infrastructure, transport or otherwise, so benefitting a much larger proportion of the general public. If good commercial sense does not prevail and HS2 is built, it will be a ‘rich man’s toy,’ accruing benefits to London at the expense of the regions and it will be one of the best ever examples of a White Elephant project. We should not forget that as HS2 would not open for 15-20 years, those politicians taking the decisions in the immediate future are unlikely to be in public office to take the blame when the ribbon is cut.”

 

“We hope our plans will prompt debate within all the main political parties and action from more MPs, however, if the Government confirms the plans for HS2 in December, the one certainty will be the total uproar in the previously loyal Conservative seats that are impacted by the line.  There is palpable fury that the Government seems to want to press ahead with this scheme despite all the independent voices that question its economic and environmental viability.  At the local elections earlier this year there was just the beginning of signs of an electoral revolt in the affected seats, including a huge swing away from the Conservatives to an Independent councillor in Great Missenden, but no organised slate. UKIP and The Greens who both oppose HS2 also made gains in HS2 affected areas.  Should the Government push on with the scheme, many people who had previously been prepared to give their party the benefit of the doubt on this issue, will say enough is enough.  Voters of all political persuasions will conclude that the only way to get their message through, to both the existing and future Governments, will be through democratic representation at the Ballot Box in this one unifying issue of principle.  The Government, of whatever political persuasion, should beware the polite majority should the Government decide to push on with this wasteful, unwanted and unnecessary scheme.”

 

Notes to Editors:

1. For more information contact Joe Rukin on 07811 371880 or Penny Gaines on 07765 780553.

2. People can sign the petition against HS2 via the Stop HS2 website; http://stophs2.org/news/378-petition-government-stop-hs2/.

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18 comments to “STOP HS2 PLANS FOR INDEPENDENT SLATE AT NEXT GENERAL ELECTION.”
  1. Could i make a suggestion to Stop HS2 and all other groups against this High Speed Railway.Put you efforts together in supporting UKIP this is the only political party that is against HS2 and also with their views on Europe,that a large part of the general public support,it maybe possible to win enough seats to make a difference.On your own i think you are waisting your time and efforts.

    ROY

  2. Adonis’s oppinions are less worthy than ours because he is living on a project that will destroy our countryside and put us in more debt.We need people to vote for who are not in it just for themselves and have a few more brains and look at the figures of Hs2 and not just believe the
    spin they are told.

  3. Great. What took you so long? Seriously, if the Government does go ahead with HS2 they deserve everything they get from “middle England.”

  4. The only parties against HS2 are UKIP and greens. If they also put up candidates there will be a clutch of minority candidates that will dilute the protest votes. Perhaps the local Consevative assosiations should make it absolutely clear to Tory HQ that ALL their candidates will refuse the party whip if HS2 is given the go ahead at the end of the year.

  5. I am truely disillusioned with the major parties with their disregard for people who raise sensible objections to some of their policies. How the Government can make massive cuts that affect millions of people and still want to spend at least £34bn on a project that has limited benefit, if any, to a small number of people. The economic benefits have been proved to be spurious to say the least.

    You will have my vote!

    • so i suppose the fact that the economic benefits of hs1 have been huge doesnt make any difference to you then. and you say it will be of limited use to a few people which isnt borne out at all by the facts. can you prove what you say ? it certainly is not designed for low usage.

      There is a difference between cutting back on ongoing expenditure that will bring savings every year and investing in much needed transport infrastruture which has benefits at least double the costs ! seems like good value to me. if i could extend my house and gain £2 for every £1 spent i would do it. if this meant maybe cutting back on ongoing costs it would be worthwhile. I do believe that the cutbacks should be at a slower rate and by higher tax rates on the better off to show that we are all in this together not just some of us. but then thats what happens when you vote conservative. now you know how the north and scotland felt under previous conservative governments !!

      there are many many reports based on actual running of high speed lines which show that transport infrastructure and especially high speed lines is needed and is economically beneficial.

      I am sorry but i cannot come to any other conclusion that in the main those opposed to hs2 either live along the line of route or far away enough from it that they wont benefit from it. There is nothing at all wrong with this of course but why do critics then come out with such dubious statements to try to make it seem that there are other reasons for their opposition to hs2..

      • vtman from what i have read Hs1 is running below well below predicted capacity and is expensive.I have seen the messages on the petition too from people who live in that area and problems it has caused in reduced service to those who are near but not seved by it.

        • if you look at the wider economic benefits of hs1 these run into the billions according to a recent report by london and continental i should have made this clear. money from fares or user fees is not the only benefit of transport. Also the increase in business and productivity and house prices etc can be considerable.
          this is the case in places like ashford.

          hs1 recently carried freight for the first time. total passengers last year using eurostar and domestic trains totalled over 16 million. more international trains will run over hs1 from 2O13. 3 trains an hour will connect to manchester and birmingham via the hs1 hs2 link. the line was also leased for a considerable sum and can be leased again when the term expires. hs2 is expected to be leased in a similar way.

          some people do have longer journey times from hs1 partly because the trains are not able to mcall at more stations en route hence serving a larger clientele. on the flip side many people have faster journeys and have better connections then they had before. 7% of journeys were new to rail and i believe another 7% previously travelled by car. so more passengers overall then. when eurostar moved to st pancras some people had longer times and switched modes. but more people overall benefitted. it is teh same with hs2. there are many more people who will benefit then will not.

          • sorry that should read more trains are able to call at more stations on the existing lines with the capacity released by hs1

          • The report was produced on behalf of London & Continental who at the time had a vested interest because they were interested in a franchise north of London. Put simply the “wider benefits” of HS1 are much overblown, as is the case with HS2 ( nobody at HS2 Ltd has been able to tell me what the round sum plugs for “perfect competition” and “agglomeration” are all about for instance and we all know about the nonsense over the economic value of time saved ) .

            Of course London & Continental then had to be bailed out by the government precisely because demand projections had been so dramatically missed.

            It is worth also adding that the biggest beneficiary of HS1 is supposed to have been Stratford ( with its recently opened shopping centre etc ). You might have noticed that is where the Olympics is going to be next year and Stratford’s investment is more to do with that than anything else.

      • I personally know people impacted by HS1, they have increased journey times. HS1 has also scaled back its services, hardly a success story. These people are now opposed to HS2 based on their experience of HS1.

  6. They say Stop hs2 gives out false information but we do not .Harriet Harmen has just quoted the general waffle on the news about 40,000 jobs and the fact that the trains are at capacity.There was nobody asked to give the other side of the arguement and the trouble is the majority watching are lulled into believing her.It makes me so angry.

    • One of the experts at the HSR committee stated quite categorically that this was not the best way to increase capacity. He mentioned that the overcrowding was primarily around city regions and required more carriages and larger platforms serving major cities surrounded by towns. He was adamant that this was basically a dumb selfish idea that overlooked many much more productive cheaper alternatives.

      Sadly I cant find the video on youtube.

  7. It is of national importance that the £33 billion HS2 project is ended. I’ve been a life-long Conservative voter but you will have my full support if the Government presses ahead with this hugely expensive and short-sighted scheme. UK Plc desperately needs to be able to pay its way in an ever more competitive world, and whilst it might be a ‘nice have’ for people to be able to travel to and from London a little more quickly, it won’t actually generate / create new money for the Country. This is one of the fundamental problems that today’s professional politicians just don’t seem to be able to grasp and they would be out of work very quickly if they tried to justify this sort of project in the private sector.

    It really is quite sobering to remember that our ancestors built much of our existing infrastructure without public subsidy…..because it made a hard financial return for investors. The Government inject some commercial common-sense into its decision making: it should stick to what is important….especially law and order, defence, health, education and it should act as a promoter for the Country. If it stuck to these key areas of importance, we would be out of our current financial problems very quickly. HS2 is flawed and for this reason the Stop HS2 campaign has my full backing.

  8. At the moment most affected conservative mps are fighting for us against hs2 but should we vote for them Cameron says hs2 is part of what we are voting for. I have been disenfranchised!

    • On that point,Sue,all of us opposed to HS2 were disenfranchised at the last election,as it had,and still seems to have cross-party consensus(of the major parties).What is so frustrating is that they’ve swallowed Adonis’s “preferred ” route ,hook,line and sinker.As an unelected,ex-Secretary of State,he’s still giving lectures on the subject,and,like so many politicians,has no background in the rail industry.His opinions are no more worthy of respect than yours or mine!

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