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Rethink waste of HS2

HS2 plans

Time to rethink waste and damage of HS2, Greens tell Metro Mayor

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Liverpool Green councillors today (Friday December 4) urged Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram to withdraw his support for Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s high-speed HS2 rail project that will deprive the region of green transport funds for years to come.

In an open letter to the Metro Mayor they warned that he was short-changing his own vision of greener bus investment. He was backing a project that brought no early benefits to Liverpool or the city region but tore up ancient woodland and green spaces across the country.

Green Party councillors: Lawrence Brown, Tom Crone, Sarah Jennings and Anna Key wrote:

‘We support rapid and large-scale investment in green transport options that connect people and communities across the Liverpool City Region and the North more generally: HS2 will not help.

‘In fact, the construction of HS2 will add to the deforestation of England and further contribute to climate change – environmental costs that will be shared by the people of Liverpool City Region while the £120 billion and rising economic costs of HS2 will deprive the region of green transport investment.

‘New green regional rail infrastructure in the North West must take priority over getting to London a bit faster 20 years from now.’

LGP with CL MP

Open letter to Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor

We are the Green Party City Councillors in Liverpool and are becoming increasingly concerned about the waste and environmental damage of Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram’s continued support for the HS2 rail project.

We call on him to withdraw his support and join us in demanding the money be spent on new green transport options that will protect, not damage, the environment.

In February this year, he welcomed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s renewed commitment to building the high-speed rail line from London to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds - despite the spiralling costs, destruction of ancient woodland and precious green spaces, and the fact that the city region was cut out of any direct connections.

Since then, the horrors of Covid-19 have meant that we have all had to review our priorities. We believe that we must rebuild our economy by investing in options that will curb climate change not contribute to more environmental damage.

Any of the claimed environmental benefits of HS2 are decades away, while the climate emergency needs to be tackled now.

As Green councillors, we welcome the Mayor’s commitment to invest in new, greener bus routes across the city region and welcome his desire to improve local and regional rail connectivity.

However, we believe that he is short-changing his own vision by backing HS2. There is a real danger that it will soak up government investment in transport across the North West for decades to come.

We support rapid and large-scale investment in green transport options that connect people and communities across the Liverpool City Region and the North more generally: HS2 will not help.

In fact, the construction of HS2 will add to the deforestation of England and further contribute to climate change – environmental costs that will be shared by the people of Liverpool City Region while the £120 billion and rising economic costs of HS2 will deprive the region of green transport investment.

New green regional rail infrastructure in the North West must take priority over getting to London a bit faster 20 years from now.

The Liverpool City Region’s share of that £120 billion would pay for the Mayor’s limited bus plans several times over and leave more than enough to construct accessible cycle ways and safe pedestrian options that everyone would benefit from.
In fact, nationally, cancelling HS2 would free up enough money to create and finance a free all-electric bus service for 30 years.

We urge Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram to think again and withdraw his support for HS2.

Green Party councillors:
Lawrence Brown, Tom Crone, Sarah Jennings, Anna Key.

One thought on “Rethink waste of HS2

  1. In addition to the environmental case against HS2, the competitive position of Liverpool and the City Region will be worsened as Manchester is seen to be better connected by high speed rail than Liverpool can be, even with a possible Liverpool spur to HS2.

    It’s a mystery to me why Liverpool’s political leadership cannot see we are shooting ourselves in the foot by entrenching Manchester as the predominant regional capital for the North West.

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