Plans to build high speed rail link from London to the Midlands are a costly diversion from providing decent public transport services for Londoners, and they will destroy community facilities, homes – and the environment, according to London’s Green MEP Jean Lambert.
As MPs debated whether to go ahead with the £42.6bn plans today, Ms Lambert, calling the scheme a ‘white elephant’ – said HS2 should be scrapped.
“There’s no business case for HS2 – and no environmental case,” she said, speaking to demonstrators outside the Houses of Parliament.
“Hillingdon and Camden will be particularly badly hit. I spoke today with residents of both boroughs who will see homes, open spaces and community facilities destroyed if HS2 goes ahead.
“And, according to a new report by the Wildlife Trusts, around 500 wildlife sites – including 10 Sites of Special Scientific Interest and 150 local wildlife and ancient woodland sites – will be damaged or destroyed.”
“But the benefits are tenuous too: imagine how many more would benefit it could make if, instead of HS2m, the Government were to bring the railways back into public ownership – and invest £42bn in their improvement.
“HS2 will offer an expensive, fast service between London and the Midlands: it national benefits will be minimal. It’ll save a small number of travellers a few minutes on their journeys: a railway for the 1%, not a programme of nationalisation and investment for the 99%.”
“It should be scrapped.”