DOZENS of visitors to a popular water park near Tamworth have backed a crusade opposing the high speed railway HS2.
More than 60 visitors signed up to find out more about the campaign of SNOWHS2 during a two-day exhibition at Kingsbury Water Park this bank holiday.
“I think there’s a genuine fear that, if the proposed route goes ahead, Kingsbury Water Park will not be the same water park.
HS2 would be the biggest and most costly infrastructure project ever undertaken in the UK. Will it really provide the huge economic benefits claimed, or is it destined to become our next ‘Concorde’ – technologically very sexy, but financially a disaster?
Proponents of HS2, most notably the Department of Transport and an alliance of some of our large cities, have the resources to pay economic researchers to provide the evidence they need to help ‘sell’ the scheme to the voter/taxpayer. Opponents and sceptics do not have access to these resources and therefore must rely upon the work of independent experts, some of whom support the Government’s arguments and some of whom do not (1).
As £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.
Tamworth Greens reaffirm their opposition to the governments HS2 folly.
We are pleased to publish this press release from our friend Councillor Tom Harris, Stafford and Stone Green Party.
“Only the Green Party Opposes HS2.
With the Treasury set to commit £32bn of public money to the controversial HS2 railway line, the Green Party in Stafford and Stone has restated its opposition, adding it is now the only party not to support the plans.”
Cllr Tom Harris (Stafford Forebridge) told us “We see three main, clear and strong reasons why we want to see the current proposals thrown out”.
“Firstly, the economic case for HS2 is far from convincing. HS2 is likely to be unaffordable for most people, even though everyone’s taxes will pay for it to be built.
Just look at the disasterous Dutch ‘Frya’ high speed line, which opened only two years ago and is now losing £320,000 a day, with passengers shunning its premium fares and trains running up to 85 per cent empty.
Bold claims made about bringing growth simply fail to stand up to scrutiny – Birmingham, which has seen a 60 per cent rise in rail passengers over the last ten years, has seen only a 0.2% growth in employment, for example.
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?
Secondly, in an extraordinary waste of scarce resources, the proposed trains would burn 50% more energy per mile than the Eurostar.
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’ lives ruined. I have heard from residents in Hopton whose homes are directly on the proposed line and they are at their wits end.
The government simply should not be proposing this madness.
The Conservative, Liberal Democrats and Labour Parties all support HS2, so I am delighted that the Green Party is taking a clear line against the plans.”
Cllr Harris went on to detail how the Green Party would like to see money invested elsewhere in transport infrastructure.
“Our first priority is getting people about conveniently and affordably with local public transport schemes, as well as working on ways to improve air quality and reduce CO2 and particulate emissions, such as safe routes to school.
We think public transport should be re-regulated, with councils ensuring sensible levels of provision and a truly integrated system. HS2 will divert cash from local schemes for years and years.”