Stop HS2 supporters went to London yesterday to watch the debate on HS2 arranged by Andrea Leadsom, Chris White, Dan Byles and others.
The debate was particularly lively, with MPs from all parties holding differing views, and more MP’s speeches against the proposed £33 billion HS2 project then in favour of it.
One notable speaker was Roger Godsiff, the Birmingham Hall Green Labour MP who spoke strongly against HS2. He said that two acts of monumnetal folly had been the Beeching cuts and railway privitisation, and that HS2 risked being a third. As well as the costs of HS2, in a time when other projects are being cut, he pointed out that people in Birmingham travel out of the city to “enjoy the countryside”.
Another was Fiona Bruce, MP for Congleton in Cheshire,, who argued that any regeneration effects of HS2 on Manchester would not radiate across the North-west region, and that the “the flow of economic regeneration could be towards London and away from the north-west, so a project designed to bridge the north-south divide could have the opposite effect.”
The full debate is avavilable on Hansard: we will be bringing you some of the other issues raised over the next few weeks.
However, my favourite moment was when Theresa Viliers mentioned Stop HS2 by name and specifically our argument about business travellors using train travel time to work.