HS2 – spinning without delay

HS2 was never going to be in the Queen’s Speech this week. 

The Government’s plan has been to introduce it towards the end of 2013, meaning it would be included in next year’s Queen’s Speech.

The Sunday Telegraph claimed yesterday that David Cameron “will offer an olive branch to his critics by avoiding Parliamentary legislation on the controversial High Speed 2 rail link”.

This is no olive branch.

There is no delay over HS2.

It is simply David Cameron confirming that the thing he hadn’t intended to do, he won’t do.

There is no way that the HS2 hybrid bill could have been set in front of Parliament any time soon. We’re in the middle of the consultation on the methodology for the Environmental Impact Assessment(EIA). That’s only working out how to do the EIA: the EIA itself takes a minimum of a year.

What is equally galling is the spin from pro-HS2 campaigners whinging about “delay”. That’s a clear case of playing politics with issues that really matter to people.

Examples include Gisela Stuart, MP, on the BBC yesterday. Given that she is Secretary of the All Party Parliamentary Group for High Speed Rail, one would hope that she had a better idea of the HS2 timetable then she appeared to display on the Sunday Politics show.

Another example is Adam Marshall, director of policy at the British Chambers of Commerce. He too was complaining about ‘delay’: this lack of knowledge of the HS2 proposal is behind much of the support for HS2.

We know that there is huge concern amongst ordinary voters about HS2: we know that Boris Johnson was concerned enough that he voiced his doubts about HS2 the day before his election for London Mayor.

We need to make it clear to David Cameron that HS2 is a bad way of spending £33 billion (or more) of the country’s money. We need to make it clear to him that the electorate have seen though the Department for Transport’s HS2 spin whether it comes from the Prime Minister, or through the Government owned HS2 Ltd.

HS2 must be cancelled, not mere rumours of delay.

Together, we are Stop HS2 and together we will Stop HS2.

4 comments to “HS2 – spinning without delay”
  1. Pingback: STOP HS2 | Better broadband, better than HS2

  2. What’s the point in making a HS2 Rail Line, better if you use that money wisely and repay your debts !!!!!!

  3. @Ian S
    Actually the notion of High Speed Rail appearing in the (9th May 2012) Queens Speech is more widspread than you think. See this link – http://www.dodsmonitoring.com/downloads/briefings/Queens_Speech_Briefing.pdf

    However, it is a Parliamentary convention that the Queens Speech covers one Parliamentary Session, which is 12 months. The timing of these “Sessions” was controversially changed by the present Coalition Administration (anything that breaks long held traditions is regarded as “contoversial” by an inherently small ‘c’ conservative Parliamentary establishment) when they introduced the Fixed Term Parliament Act into statute.

    “Sessions” now run from May to April so the new Queens Speech should cover the period May 2012 to April 2013.

    Therefore, given the knowledge that the Hybrid Bill was timed to enter Parliament on 25th October 2013, I’m non-plussed as to why observers might think it should appear in the imminent announcement. Perhaps, as this article suggests, someone is playing mind games?

  4. Apart from lazy or inaccurate journalism, it is difficult to understand why the Telegraph would print such a glaringly obvious error.
    The Mail on Sunday also printed the same story but for more obvious reasons I guess.
    The upshot of all this is that Boris’s remarks made the day before the election might have been to ensure that he picked up a few more of the votes of people who are against HS2. Let us face it he has not been anywhere near as forthright before has he? I would love to be proven wrong, but I doubt that he will mention his concerns over HS2 for a long while.

    So here we are with this leviathan of waste lumbering on whilst quicker, cheaper and easier options to increase capacity, speed and connectivity are sidelined and ignored.

    As for the pro-HS2 brigade appearing not to know the timetable and other “facts”, this is again unsurprising as there has been an alarming demonstration of a lack of understanding by them starting with Lord Adonis and carrying right on up to the present day ensemble of miscreants.

    Facts do not appear to count if you are PRO HS2.

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