HS2 Briefing

HS2 - wrong priorities, damage to wildlife sites, not value for money (Aug 2019)

Nottingham Friends of the Earth has published a Briefing on HS2 which is highly critical.

Download Briefing

HS2 aims to provide a new high-speed rail line between London and Birmingham, then to Manchester and to Leeds via East Midlands. The Briefing argues that:

  • HS2 will benefit business travellers, not commuters
  • Very fast trains serve less places and won't help overcrowding on commuter routes
  • There is no provision for freight trains - which could actually have reduced capacity due to HS2 north of Manchester and Leeds
  • To rebalance the economy, regional schemes should be prioritised over London-centric schemes like HS2 - including electrification of Midland Mainline, and lines in Northern England, Scotland and Wales
  • HS2 will damage hundreds of wildlife sites, including ancient woodlands - Notts Wildlife Trust has identified a wide range of habitats which will be lost or damaged
  • The government has no national rail or transport strategy - so it is impossible to assess HS2 within an overall strategy
  • Climate change is not treated as a priority within the government's Transport Infrastructure Strategy
  • The projected cost of HS2 has risen from £32bn to £56bn, and now upto £90bn - it has high risk of not providing value for money
  • To reduce greenhouse gases, deterring car and van traffic should be a top priority, and more spent on cycling, walking and on buses or trams - which benefit more people with significant economic benefits
  • In summary, HS2 is a seductive, glossy project which has not been properly debated
HS2 routemap