No to HS2 in Tamworth!

STOP HS2 logoAs £32bn of public money is set to be thrown at the controversial HS2 railway line, Tamworth Green Party restates its opposition to the plans.

There are many reasons why these proposals should be thrown out.

Firstly, the economic case is not convincing. HS2 is likely to be too expensive for most people, even though all our taxes will pay for it.

In the Netherlands a similar high-speed line, opened only two years ago, loses over £320,000 a day, with passengers unable to afford its premium fares and trains often running almost empty.

Claims that HS2 will bring growth don’t stand up to either: Birmingham has seen a massive rise in rail passengers over the last ten years but only a tiny 0.2% growth in employment, for example.

So, why not spend a fraction of the money by fitting carriages with fast wireless internet so that people can make better use of their journey time? Better still, invest in a national IT framework so that more people can work from, or closer to, their homes?

Secondly, in an extraordinary waste of scarce resources, the proposed trains would burn 50% more energy per mile than the Eurostar. We should be looking at reducing energy use, not increasing it!

And finally, the environmental and human impact of the current route would be devastating along its entire length, seeing beautiful countryside carved up and thousands of families displaced. The knock-on effect will be felt by the whole of Tamworth and much further afield. We would like to see this money invested elsewhere in transport infrastructure.

Our first priority should be to revitalise local public transport schemes, as well as working on ways to improve air quality and reduce CO2 emissions. Public transport should be re-regulated, with councils ensuring affordable provision and a truly integrated system. HS2 would divert cash from local schemes for years and years.

Crucially, the national rail network needs to be brought back into public ownership and towns across Britain connected by fast, frequent and affordable trains.

£32 billion could return regular services to small towns and tram networks to the cities.
This would improve all our lives, it would decrease our reliance on the car and create vast numbers of rail and manufacturing jobs.


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