HS2 won’t stop climate change, because it will take 100 years to become carbon neutral, and the proposed stations are airport hubs. It will also destroy 100 ancient woodlands (England’s second oldest pear tree has just been torn down to make way for HS2) and once built, it will kill around 22,000 wildlife a year, compared to other high-speed trains worldwide.
Most of the public don’t need nor want high-speed trains, and most independent environmentalists are against it (including TV wildlife presenter Chris Packham, who unsuccessfully tried to stop the government going ahead with the project, due to the swathes of wildlife it will kill, for not reason at all). It’s also likely that in 20 years (when it’s built), we will all be working remotely anyway.
HS2 is a big white elephant. If the government were serious about climate change, it would cancel the project and use the £100 billion to update all the dilapidated rolling stock, to encourage people to use public transport now. GO-OP! Cooperative is presently seeking investors for its first route for a ‘people-owned railway’ that would be wonderful.
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. Money should be spent on improvement railways in the North and South West.
- People are working from home. COVID-19 just sped up what is happening anyway: people are seeking simpler lives, and don’t want to take high-speed trips to meet people in person. They prefer to live and shop locally, and meet up virtually online.
- 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.
- 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?
Visit Stop HS2 to join the campaign to stop HS2. A recent campaign to stop MPs selling off Britain’s forests to private companies won, so it’s not too late. Visit They Work For You, look up your MP, and click ‘environment’. Write to your MP via Stand for the Trees. And if you see media bias (no environmentalist allowed to give opposing facts), complain to the media.
HS2 is an act of Ecocide. It will bulldoze huge areas of natural woodland and cut wildlife habitats in half. We need to remove bottlenecks, increase rail freight, improve journey times and join urban areas. Jonathan Bartley, co-leader, Greens