HS2 won’t stop climate change, because it will take 100 years to become carbon neutral, and it is designed for commuters to park their cars at the train station, with proposed other train stations being at airports. It will destroy over 100 ancient woodlands and kill precious wildlife.
Building HS2 has only just begun, and will take 20 years. By which time, we will all probably be living in walkable and cycling communities, and working from home anyway. It’s a big white elephant that is going to destroy the countryside and all its wildlife, cost £100 billion.
Among the sites that could be damaged are a national nature reserve, 10 country wildlife trust reserves, 50 ancient woods, 30 river corridors, 24 Sites of Special Scientific Interest and hundreds of other wildlife habitats. Among rare species are risk are blue & purple hairstreak butterflies, long-eared owls, stag beetles, great crested newt and Bechstein’s bat. The Independent
The Arguments Against HS2
- It won’t ‘level up’ as the first route is from London, not from Birmingham to Leeds. Yet money for HS2 could instead be spent on improving railways that we have already in the North and South West.
- People are working from home. COVID-19 just sped up what is happening anyway: people are seeking simpler sustainable lives, working from home where possible. Money is kept in the community, as people buy local bread to make a sandwich (or buy a local sandwich) rather than spend time on long commutes, buying £5 plastic-wrapped sandwiches and expensive frothy coffees. In 20 years time, no-one would use HS2.
- It will kill thousands of wildlife. A Spanish study found high-speed trains kill 36 animals per kilometre (HS2 will kill around 22,000 mammals, reptiles & amphibians yearly).
- Life needs to slow down. Fast food, fast fashion, fast lifestyles – it all causes, anxiety, anger and heart attacks. Enjoy a slow journey by train!
- HS2 won’t stop climate change. It will take 100 years to reap ‘carbon neutral benefits’. Why not spend that money on updating the present rail network for better connections?
How Can We Stop HS2?
- Visit Stop HS2 and get involved in campaigns. More home-working and lack of public funds made his case even stronger. In October 2020, England’s most loved pear tree (250 years old) was chopped down, to make way for HS2. But join in – we are not giving up!
- A recent campaign to stop MPs selling Britain’s forests to private companies was reversed, due to a petition from 38 Degrees. Visit They Work For You, look up your MP, and click ‘environment’. Write to your MP. if yours voted for HS2. Write via the site Stand for the Trees.
- Write to the media, and complain if you see bias. Newspapers, radio stations & TV programs must include environmental experts.
- Keep up to date at The Ecologist which reports on this issue. Peaceful campaigners have been injured, one local resident said it’s like living in a police state.
What Do Politicians Think?
Only the Green Party (and UKIP) are against HS2, though many MPs of all parties have rebelled. Sir Keir Starmer is one (saying the ramifications for his Camden constituents from building work, could last 17 years). Jacob Rees-Mogg is against it (but voted for it), so he’s changed his mind?
The government’s figures show it won’t cut carbon emissions. The Prime Minister needs to get his facts right. Caroline Lucas (Green)
HS2 is an act of Ecocide. It will bulldoze huge areas of natural woodland and cut wildlife habitats in half. We need to invest to remove bottlenecks, increase rail freight, improve journey times & frequencies and join urban areas. Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of The Green Party
I cannot understand why we will spend so much money and upset so many people, in order to get to the end of the line 20 minutes sooner. David Amess (Conservative)
There’s no benefit at all to far South West. We have the slowest speeds and highest fares, and new investment is going to be elsewhere. Adrian Sanders MP (Lib Dem)