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Thursday, 19 April 2012

HS2 "must be stopped"

Green Party candidate for Mayor of London Jenny Jones today visited Ealing to meet local voters and reassert her opposition to the High Speed Two railway project. Along with Green candidate for Lambeth and Southwark, Mike Harling, Jones met voters to discuss how local residents will be effected by the government’s proposals. At the beginning of March, the government had bought 47 homes in Ealing at a cost of £27 million. Most of the 338 houses that will be knocked down if the project goes ahead are in London.

Jones said: “HS2 is a terrible plan that can't be justified in environmental or economic terms and must be stopped. Residents and other opponents to the scheme are right to feel aggrieved over having their opinions—and quality of life—ignored. Many people will be forced to move from their homes to make way for HS2, and the government seems intent on pursuing the project despite the substantial human, financial and environmental cost. Investment in public transport is essential but it must be done in a way that benefits everyone. Unless transport within London is improved, any gains on journey times made by high speed services to the capital will be lost on the platform of Euston tube.”

The Green’s 2012 London Elections manifesto makes a clear pledge to oppose HS2 and lobby for high speed rail services that substantially reduce our reliance on flights, are more energy efficient than Eurostar, that take full account of social costs such as relocation and the loss of social housing, and that provide benefits to people from all walks of life. Harling said: “£32 billion to get business men to Birmingham thirty minuets earlier seems like an insane waste of public funds, particularly when frontline services are being cut.”