The Green Party votes to Oppose HS2

Just before lunchtime today, the Green Party voted at their GPEW Conference to oppose HS2.

This is fantastic news for our campaign and reinforces all the evidence we have previously provided proving:


 The Green Party have already issued a press release and extract from which appears below:-

“John Whitelegg told us that people need to know what we think about High Speed Rail 2 (HS2). And he thinks that we should be against it: “This is a classic neo-conservative economic growth project” “we cannot lend our weight to HS2″…”What will HS2 do to air travel and car travel” …”17bn, will lead to an 8% move from air to train, and a further 8% shift from car travel from car to train”. “HS2 is very unfair. What stands out is that 30% of users will earn more than 70k a year. It has to be a rich person’s railway because the business case only stacks up if the time saved is ‘very valuable’.” Or so we were told.”

The motion passed read as follows:-

“TR244 The Green Party believes that long-distance service provision should not concentrate on high speeds where this will affect local service provision or take up an excessive amount of limited resources.

Current proposals for a new north-south high speed rail route are based on assumptions about continuing growth in mobility, energy use and CO2 emissions which are not compatible with Green Party policy.

The Green Party does not support the current high speed rail proposals known as HS2 but will review this policy if an when evidence emerges that HSR is embedded within an overall policy context that can deliver reductions in the demand for transport, energy use, land take and CO2 emissions”  proposed by John Whitelegg, Jenny Jones, Emily Heath, Stephen Plowden & 2 others.

There was a High Speed Rail briefing note supplied to everyone in the main hall and I will post this later on today.

I am feeling very emotional at present and can not thank John Whitelegg and his team enough for ensuring the Green Party confirmed their position in the clearest terms possible. John kindly referred in his speech to attending our convention last weekend as a guest speaker and we are absolutely honoured to have welcomed him and that he found it an informative and constructive event.

Lizzy Williams

Chairman STOP HS2

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20 comments to “The Green Party votes to Oppose HS2”
  1. There are some thousands of people who will lose a lot with HS2, there might be tens of thousands who will gain significantly and maybe hundreds of thousands who will gain a little. At this point the benefits of the many outweigh the dis-benefits of the few and if this was the only criteria for building the thing then the arguing would be over a long time ago. But if you had not noticed HS2 will cost an enormous amount of money which it will never recoup, thus it is very reasonable for the millions of people who will be paying for it to ask if this is really the best ‘investment’ for the country?

    The concept of ‘its shiny, I want one’ and ‘other people have them’ are the arguments of the playground, not justification for spending billions on a over-hyped vanity project. We can choose to spend our money in so many other ways that might actually promote sustainable travel, might generate real jobs rather than just move them around, and that might even pay back the investment so that the country can genuinely move on into the future.

    And let’s not forget the point of the original article above – HS2 is not green!

  2. From reading the above comments it is clear that the majority of people in the UK would welcome this rail link.
    From living in Glasgow and working for a company that has offices in both Glasgow and London I feel would help link 2 major parts of the UK

    My Wife is from Japan and from being on fast rail networks abroad I’m afraid to say I’m deeply embarrassed by the current system

    Also I cant believe JenkinsComp quotes ‘. If motorway speed limits were raised to a realistic 21st century level (100mph plus maximum) then the car would trounce the jorurney times of ancient technology like a train’

    surely justifying more car journeys over trains flies in the face of every green protester and would cause millions of more cars

    This link is Vital stop protesting people and welcome progress!!!!

  3. people in thr north and scotland are quick to protest about the disfiguring wind turbines, power cables and nuclear power stations that pollute their environment. When they realise that the ultra highspeed option means that these things will erupt like acne over the face of the north to fuel the ultrahighspeed link to London, they will be less than happy. Green highspeed rail not ultrahighspeed electricity guzzling trains is what we need. compromise on speed and we will all be happier – north and south

  4. You guys are such narrow-minded negative people intent on bringing down society with your ludicrous reasoning.
    The rest of Europe is streaks ahead with already proven and effective high-speed rail networks while we are stuck with Victorian infrastructure. Face it, it’s 2011 and we need modern, fast transport.
    It’s clear that if we as a society and country are to advance we need to innovate and invest. People need to and will travel, they have jobs and lives.
    Yes, it will be expensive, but you need to spend money to get a good return. It will create loads of jobs and provide a huge boost to the economy.
    HS2 would mean progress, and the likes of these campaigners and the Green party are intent on preventing it.

    • As I keep saying, if you HS2 supporters reckon your case is so good then support a public inquiry and learn how you are mistaken. But you won’t because you know that an inspector would throw it out of court within days!

  5. We absolutely need this new line…..both the East and West Coast main lines are going to reach capacity in the not too distant future. Building a modern state of the art new connection is in reality the best way of solving that problem. One thing that is getting overlooked is the fact that the overall effect will be to release capacity for freight trains….we are already seeing a shift from road to rail which is taking HGVs off our motorways. which in itself will reduce carbon emissions.

    I think all the anti HS campaigners need to look at the bigger picture, you are taking a very narrow viewpoint on this.

  6. HS2isright, (shouldn’t that be HS2issh1te?) you must either be a shareholder of Siemans/Alcatel, a member of the RMT, or just in need of urgent help.

    HS2 fails on every argument:
    Time saving: The times quoted by HS2 for car journies to Birmingham are massively incorrect. You can easily get from London to Birmingham quicker by car than the claimed time for an HS2 train, let alone taking into account the time it takes to get to the HS2 station at each end. If motorway speed limits were raised to a realistic 21st century level (100mph plus maximum) then the car would trounce the jorurney times of ancient technology like a train, while being far more convenient and much cleaner. People also work on trains so it doesn’t really matter if the train is 10 mins faster or not – indeed, if it is faster they will be able to do less work on the train but HS2 makes no mention of the work time lost by making the journey a tiny bit faster. Having had the misfortune of travelling on Eurostar on many occasion, I can vouch for the fast that the UK railway definition of “High Speed” is something between 60 and 100mph.
    Passenger Predictions: The laughable predictions of passenger numbers was based on the failed predictions of HS1. The numbers just don’t stack up. Refer to HS1 and train travellers in Kent.
    Cost: The governments record (coalition or Labour) of delivering projects on budget is far from good. The numbers they have quoted are amounts that we don’t have thanks to Labour who wasted a trillion pounds on an illegal war. If the government are to spend yet more billions that we don’t have on trains, then why not recommission local lines closed under Beeching, increase carriage frequency and refurbish what we have, and invest the balance for future maintainance and inevitable wage increases demanded by the ever blackmailing unions.
    Environment / Emissions: HS2 trains will not save emissions, but will certainly create more. The building of the system will use billions of tons of concrete which can hardly be a saving in emissions. The rail route has been drawn straight through lakes near Harefield which are designated SSSI’s, and the Chilterns, already bisected by two rail lines going to and from the exact same destinations as HS2. So unnecessary. And I haven’t mentioned the disgusting disregard for natural landscape, the noise pollution…why should foreign corporation be allowed to decimate our countryside for the benefit of a few shareholders? British citizens are not allowed to build on green blet land, so why should they? Because they bribed our corrupt government?
    Need: There is no need for an additional rail link – there are already two railways that go from London to Birmingham (via Gerrards Cross & via Amersham) so why can’t these existing route be upgraded/widened? The only real need for HS2 is for shareholders of Siemans and Alcatel who lobbied bent and unelected EU ministers to vote through a “High” speed rail system throughout Europe, planned years before HS2 was made public specifically so that it is much harder for any local people to stop. The scheme is designed simply so that these German & French railway company shareholders can bribe MEPs and make some money building more of their products that people don’t need – a problem they face now that Eurostar is finished. Of course, the quarterwits we had in government for the past 13 years that bankrupted us through war and foolish regulation agreed to a corrupt legislation agreed with their vested interest European cronies, and we are stuck with it. Why should massive rail companies carry on building more and more railways, just because they hired aload of people to work on Eurotunnel? Fire them and get them to work on the land, growing food which is really what this country needs so that we don’t ship so much in from abroad.

    What we don’t need is more and more infrastructure that costs a fortune to maintain with the shakiest business case you ever heard.


    • Amen to that!The whole thing is part of the EU nightmare,which our politicians sheepishly follow,as it’s in THEIR best interest.

  7. The green party whould have the world go back to using a horse to get around. last time I check this is 2011 not 1711 where the Uk will be without HS2. Lizzy you say that they live in our world but a world without a new rail system is no future for the Uk. The link Must be build.

    • There is an Arab saying “My grandfather rode a camel, I drive a car, my son flies a plane and his son will ride a camel.”

      In a time of uncertain future and when you’re skint most people make do with what they’ve got. The country should not be trying to catch up on a non sustainable mode of transport but should be leading the way in the development of less energy intensive and more environmentally friendly transport systems.

  8. The Green Party don’t live in the Stone Age – they live in our age and they want our world to have a future beyond the very fashionable selfish idea that what happens after they you are gone doesn’t matter. John Whitelegg rocks!

  9. Fantastic stuff. At least we have a reasonable voting alternative now at the next election. Green it will be!

    The conservatives are OUT!

    Well done yet again Lizzie. And John Whitelegg.

  10. Its a good job these are not in power and they will never be with comments like the above. If we dont get HS2, The whole UK will be left behind in the stone age where the Green party live. We need the HS2. There should be HS3, HS5 ect.

    • Silly muppet!
      £17bn for 30mins time saving, even a child could do the maths.
      HS2 doesn’t add up, and when you add all the environment damage that will be done into the equation, anyone can see that HS2 is too high a price to pay.

      This is fantastic news…. now if only the Green Party would support Maglev 😉

    • No it’s HS2 that’s out-dated.

      As I wrote here ( what we need is a high speed line for hybrid services, roll-on roll-off traffic (like Eurotunnel) and freight. Such a route should follow the M1/M6 and would serve millions more than HS2 as planned.

      HS2 is the 1970s vision of the future. Nothing is more dated than yesterday’s future.

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