Monday, 18 May 2020

Campaign reply - 'HS2 betrays us all'

A number of constituents have sent me a copy of an email regarding HS2.

The government’s commitment to see the UK economy at net carbon zero by 2050 is world leading and dynamic and has my full support.

There have not been any new lines built (other than the Euro tunnel link) outside of London for a hundred years. The Victorians were very good at building the lines we still use today but they are now beyond capacity, particularly going North. A mix of freight, local stopping trains and express services all sharing the same line causes problems and delays which will only escalate with demand. Trying to upgrade those lines would cause massive disruption and weekend line closures estimated at lasting for 29 years – and it would not solve the underlying issue of capacity. So, a new line is needed and the difference in cost between a new line and a highspeed one is marginal. Further, it may as well be a fast one which uses the latest technology.

No major project has received greater consideration in terms of the environment than HS2. Two million trees will be planted to name but one of the measures. Bear in mind too that train travel is one of the most environmentally friendly forms of transport.

The economy is of course going to feel the fallout of the medical crisis and once we are through this the government no doubt review expenditure in many areas. One of the ways to boost the economy is to continue to invest in our infrastructure and that includes the prospect of improving road and rail links both locally and nationally.