John Whitehouse

Retired County Councillor for Kenilworth Abbey Division Learn more

No to HS2 – News Round-up

by John Whitehouse on 7 September, 2011

I’ve just received the following very useful news round-up from the Stop HS2 Action Group. Last week’s Economist article calling for the abandonment of HS2 could mark the start of the national tide turning! The forthcoming party conference season will be crucial.

No to HS2

News Round-up


  • Economist magazine calls for plans to be scrapped
  • Northern MPs revolt against HS2
  • Liverpool economic competitiveness could suffer, Mersey transport body warns
  • London Assembly members concerned at potential upheaval
  • Conservative transport group dismisses ‘flawed’ high-speed proposals


Shelve high speed plans urges Economist: The Economist magazine has called on the Government to abandon HS2, warning that the proposed network will fail to bridge regional divides and impact negatively on cities and towns away from the route. A related article in the weekly also looked at opposition to the project in a number of these urban areas, including Coventry and Stoke-on-Trent.

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Northern MPs turn against HS2: A number of MPs from the North-East of England, including Labour’s Kevan Jones and the Lib Dems’ Ian Swales have condemned the Coalition’s high-speed rail vision as a “White Elephant” and “of doubtful benefit” to the region.

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Liverpool competitiveness at risk: Merseyside’s Passenger Transport Authority has warned that Liverpool could be “economically disadvantaged” by the disparity in journey times that high speed services from London to Manchester would create.

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London Assembly Committee raises objections: The London Assembly’s Transport Committeee, led by Lib Dem AM Caroline Pidgeon, has said that current plans for high-speed rail “fail to properly address the effects it would have on local communities and London’s existing transport network.”

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Tory Group rejects proposals: The Conservative Party’s Transport Group have criticised the Coalition’s HS2 plans, describing them as “fundamentally flawed”.

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Top economist blasts ‘vanity project’: Respected economist John Kay has condemned HS2 as a “vanity project unfit for an austere age” that yields only “political excitement”.

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Engineering institute disputes environmental advantages: The Institute for Engineering and Technology has warned that the projected environmental and carbon benefits of HS2 are overstated. 

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HS2 fails to answer transport needs, argues former London Minister: Former London Minister and Labour MP for Greenwich and Woolwich Nick Raynsford has argued that the Government’s high speed rail plans face “difficulties on costs and planning grounds” and are an inadequate response to Britain’s aviation priorities.

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West London MP vents anger at consultation: Labour MP John McDonnell has said he will not support HS2 on the grounds that the DfT’s consultation does not provide details of its “implications and consequences” for his Hayes and Harlington constituency and the borough of Hillingdon.

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Oxfordshire businesses sceptical of economic benefits: A Federation of Small Businesses’ survey has found that 57% of its members in Oxfordshire believe HS2 will have no overall impact on their firms.

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