Coalition’s Programme for Government – DfT’s Response.

The Department for Transport has published their response to the consultation on the Coalition’s Programme for Government.

They acknowledge that the majority of the comments were about High Speed Rail – but they don’t say that almost all those comments were opposed to HS2.

They say they want to promote a “low carbon economy” – but HS2 won’t help.  HS2 admit that building the necessary structures will cause carbon emissions.  HS2 admit that running the trains will cause carbon emissions.  (The faster the train, the more the emissions.)

In fact the only significant reduction in carbon emissions comes if HS2 genuinely reduces the number of planes taking off and landing at Britain’s airports.  However HS2 themselves say that if long-haul flights use the landing slots released by reducing domestic flights, then the overall effect might “even mean an increase in carbon emissions.”

And lets face it, domestic flights are already falling:

  • The Mawhinney report says that the number of UK airports serving Heathrow has reduced from 23 to 6.
  • HS2’s own documents show that the passenger numbers from Manchester to Heathrow dropped by about a third between 2004 and 2008.

A low carbon economy is a good thing – so let’s scrap High Speed 2.

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