Green Euro-MP submits objections to HS2 plans

19 October 2011

Keith Taylor, Green MEP for Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and South East England, has submitted a formal response to the government’s consultation on its proposed new high speed railway, HS2.

Keith believes there is a strong case for enhancing the capacity and performance of Britain’s inter-city rail network but that the HS2 proposals are not the answer. In his submission Keith raises a series of objections to the HS2 plans including their impact on biodiversity, the CO2 emissions produced, noise, a lack of accessibility and the high cost to the taxpayer and passengers.

Keith said: “HS2 is not the right solution to our transport needs. Money would be better spent upgrading and improving existing rail infrastructure, or on an alternative scheme. This scheme puts too much focus on bringing people to London. Instead what is needed is real investment in jobs and regeneration in the north. Creating a slightly faster, yet very expensive rail service, will create a two tier rail network in this country.”

Keith continued: “The unproved economic and social benefits which the scheme claims to bring do not merit the irreparable environmental damage which will be caused through higher energy consumption, noise, CO2 emissions and biodiversity loss. Creating deep cuttings and tunnels through EU protected wildlife sites is not a price to pay for a rich man’s railway which only serves four stations. In my constituency, the South East, eighteen wildlife sites alone would be directly affected while local people will see little benefit from the scheme.”

Keith concluded: “I will continue to oppose this scheme. If it does get the go-ahead then I will be contacting the European Commission to raise my concerns that under EU legislation the government must show that their plans will not adversely affect any EU protected wildlife sites. I will also be looking into the new EU legislation on noise to see if this will help local people who could be affected by the noise created by HS2.”

Keith’s response to the Government’s consultation on HS2

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