Today, the Government announced the official start of construction on phase 1 of HS2, with Boris Johnson keen to herald the projected creation of 22,000 construction jobs, but rather less keen to mention that HS2 is projected to permanently displace almost that many jobs.
Stop HS2 Campaign Manager Joe Rukin responded:
“The case for building HS2 has gone from questionable to completely non-existent. The passenger forecasts invented to justify this gargantuan white elephant started off as being grossly inflated, but now this idea that HS2 is needed because tens of thousands of people, will demand to commute even greater distances for work in the future, are just laughable. We’ve spent 10 years trying to tell tin-eared politicians that working practices will change in the future and drastically reduce the need for travel, and even now it’s happened right in front of their eyes, they refuse to accept it.”
“Trying to spin HS2 as a job creation scheme is beyond desperate, as even if you take the governments low estimate of cost for phase 1 of HS2, creating 22,000 jobs works out at almost two million pounds just to create a single job, at a time when well-run businesses are going under every day, and Boris Johnson is rather less keen to mention the 19,590 jobs that HS2 will permanently displace.”
Penny Gaines, chair of Stop HS2 added:
“HS2 is the most environmentally destructive project this century, with almost 700 wildlife sites under threat, and HS2 Ltd themselves even admitting it will have a negative impact on carbon emissions for over a century. This is why there are currently hundreds of activists camped out along the HS2 route, fighting to protect nature and we don’t expect them to go away any time soon.”
Various bits of the TV coverage are below.