Originally published on the 51M website: reproduced with permission.
Before the summer break MPs debated HS2 and the link with Heathrow. The existing plan is for a spur to run to Heathrow from Old Oak Common. To read the proceedings of the debate (starting from column 223WH) that took place in Westminster Hall on 17 July click here.
It is revealing that in one of her responses during the debate Transport Secreatry Theresa VillIiers said with regard to the modal shift effect of HS2, “Providing an attractive alternative to those (internal) flights could release vital capacity, which could provide opportunities for developing new routes to emerging markets and other key long-haul destinations…”
Given the original central ‘green’ claim for HS2 reducing carbon emissions, this comment demonstrates that even this objective has been abandoned. As 51m put forward in its submission to the Department for Transport last year, the possibility of short-haul slots being taking by long-haul routes undermined the ability of HS2 to even be carbon neutral. In the light of Theresa Villiers comments, it is now clear that the contribution of HS2 to the nation’s carbon reduction targets must be questioned as such replacements appears to have become Government policy.
The STOP HS2 campaign is currently running an urgent funding appeal.
To pay direct into our bank account or preferably set up a standing order to help ensure we have regular funding, the details are; Lloyds-TSB, Sort Code 30-94-93, Account no, 34934760. Anyone wishing to donate to Stop HS2 should send a cheque made payable to “Stop HS2″ to Stop HS2, c/o Roger Waller, Treasurer, The Outlook, Dunsmore, Wendover, Bucks. HP22 6QJ.