Our demonstration on Monday,and the announcement of £9 billion improvements to the existing railway – which we have been arguing for, for the last two years – has generated a number of news items.
Here is just a selection of them:
“Protesters fighting plans for a high speed rail (HS2) link between London and the West Midlands have held another rally Westminster.
“Stop HS2 said up to 300 of its supporters demonstrated outside Parliament on Monday, the day before MPs start their summer break.”
The Economist: Engine of Growth
“…There are two further and interesting things to note about the rail investment schemes announced this week. First, the timing appears to be politically motivated: …
“Second, there have been rumblings recently about the weakening of political will to build a second high speed train line in Britain, known as HS2. This grand project to build a new link from London to Manchester and Leeds via Birmingham has a £30 billion-plus price tag and is highly controversial in the country, though all parties are currently for the plan, at least in public. Again, announcing cheaper and less complicated schemes must seem a sweet antidote to continued questions about HS2 within parliament and without…”
“Conservative environment secretary Caroline Spelman … claimed some of the investment would improve Coventry people’s links to a planned station near the NEC for the HS2 high-speed rail line.
“…Well not quite, it seems. Our senior government press officer told me the £140million would, in fact, be a national funding pot for rail industry bids for “innovative” schemes.
“Rail companies and organisations could, if they wished, bid for a slice of funding to improve links to HS2 from anywhere along the route. He added bidding was more likely to come for the Birmingham area. “
(Original Coventry Telegraph article here.)
“Stop HS2 campaigners have said that electrification plans outlined by the government further undermine the business case for high-speed rail….
“Stop HS2 campaign coordinator Joe Rukin said: “Even proponents of HS2 have admitted that Midland Main Line electrification diminishes a great deal of the point of having HS2 and further wrecks the business case.”