Last night's meeting sought to re-galvanise the High Speed Rail 2 campaign ahead of the decision on whether to proceed with the project which is expected to be announced by Justine Greening MP on December 20th.
Among the issues that were discussed were:
- The fact that the carbon emissions from the trains will be higher per passenger than car travel.
- The project is a standalone one sponsored initially by Lord Adonis without any links with a strategic transport development plan.
- The lack of connectivity of HS2 (especially with HS1) and the lack of any concrete plans/station locations north of Birmingham.
- The economic case assumes time travelling on trains is 'wasted but we all know people work on trains.
- The costing of £32bn for the whole project does not include the many farm bridges that will be required, works needed as a result of the Environmental Impact Assessment, and the rolling stock.
- In places under Kensal the roof of the tunnel will be less than 10metres below some houses and there is no assessment of the noise and vibration that will be made by 250mph trains as they brake going into Old Oak Common.
- Because Euston will lack platform space we will lose the Overground link with Euston.
- Technology does not exist as yet for running 18 trains per hour in each direction at these speeds.
- The ongoing subsidy for HS2 will benefit the richest in society and no figures have been published for the eventual fare.
- The Transport Select Committee Report on HS2 raises so many issues around context, finance, environmental impact, number of trains per hour that it amounts to requesting that they go back to the drawing board.
- A Westminster Council report, although ostensibly against the project, is aggressively challenging on the route and other issues.
The meeting agreed that a bullet point update was requested that could then be used to write to MPs, including' off-route' ones, as well as London Assembly Members.
The Green Party passed this motion on HS2 at its Cardiff Conference:
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 and 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 (2011) high speed rail proposals known as HS2 but will review this policy if and 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.Further information:
Huh, the UK government in all their sublime logic are going to spend £33BILLION! on 186 miles of high speed railway which will take THIRTEEN YEARS to build!
Now we all know that 13 years mean 20 years, £33billion means £50billion and all this to link only five cities with one line. Now compare this to the recently opened High Speed Railway in CHINA....
1486 miles/£94billion/FOUR years and the worst thing - their trains look awesome... ours will simply look shit, conforming to the millions of sheets of red tape to complete the overpriced project... let's have a look at that again...
1486miles/£94billion/FOUR years/Awesome bullet trains
186miles/£33billion/THIRTEEN years/Bollocks clunky trains -
- Roaring through the once peaceful English countryside and there's not even a consideration to link London with Edinburgh or Glasgow (no wonder the Scots want rid of us!)
Now I can't be bothered to work out how much more value the Chinese are building their systems for but it's a helluva lot fucking better that what David Cameron has 'promised'!
So why don't they hire the Chinese, build the tracks underground, get rid of the fucking useless red tape that means the country is losing £33billion and then spend it on the airports or give us all a nice little bonus in our pay packets...
£33billion divided by 65million people in the UK that's... £507 each!!!!!!!!!!!
I know I'd rather prefer £507 in my pocket rather than it being spent on a railway I'll probably never use only to save 50 minutes off a journey time!
They built railways quicker in the wild wild west!
So, Cameron - fuck off with all this 'saving the economy' bollocks, stop helping your rich friends get richer by promising them business and spread the wealth to us little people so that we don't slip back into the dark ages!
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