The Lobby Day yesterday was very successful, attended by a range of MPs and Peers from all the main political parties. There were also ordinary members of the public – including people from areas away from the current proposed route who wanted more information about HS2.
In the question and answer session, Andrea Leadsom, MP, was asked what people who are concerned about the downsides of the HS2 proposal could do to raise it’s profile in Parliament.
Andrea was quite clear. She said that she and some of the other MPs do what they can to talk to MPs in the member’s tearooms and at other occasions to explain the problems of HS2.
But she said there was a key thing that ordinary people could do. And that was to get their friends and relatives across the country to raise the issue with their own MPs. The more people contacting a Member of Parliament, the more likely that MP is to take an interest in the proposal and look at the details of HS2.
Andrea suggested that we should point out that HS2 will cost £1000 per family, but that the wealthiest would use it most. She said it was “completely not egalitarian” and that “now is not the time to be asking everyone to dig deep” to pay for the proposed railway.
Of course the financial cost of the railway is not the only reason to be opposed to HS2.
Steve Roddick’s speech covered a number of the environmental downsides of HS2. These include the destruction of 300 acres of woodland, including 72 acres of ancient woodland, which simply cannot be replaced by planting new trees. HS2 will affect 160 wildlife sites, including 10 SSIs. Steve reminded people that HS2 is carbon neutral.
Steve pointed out that the environmental costs are not included in the economic case. This in spite of many of the so-called economic benefits of HS2 being intangible.
We will be posting more information about the Lobby Day. But in the meantime, please follow Andrea’s guidance and get your friends and family around the country to contact their MP to let them know the downsides of HS2.