ABOVE: Phil Hornby disusses HS2 with Steve Brine MP (Con), Caroline Lucas MP (Green) and Lord Knight (Lab). From "The Last Word", broadcast on ITV1 Meridian, Thursday 14th June 2012. Caroline and Steve both oppose HS2.
Environmental case against
In 2007, the government commissioned Eddington report – before rail industry construction lobbysists got to government and only one of the main political parties supportedhigh speed rail - found that building and operating a new north-south rail network in England would generate more CO2 than taking the same route by air over a 60-year period. “There is no potential carbon benefit in building a new line on the London to Manchester route over the 60-year appraisal period. In essence, the additional carbon emitted by building and operating a new rail route is larger than the entire quantity of carbon emitted by the air services,” said the report.
The Eddington Report stated “given that domestic aviation accounts for 1.2 per cent of the UK’s carbon emissions, it is unlikely that building a high-cost, energy-intensive very high-speed train network is going to be a sensible way to reduce UK emissions.”
HS2’s power requirement varies as the square of the running speed so at 225 mph (360kph) it would requires 3 1/4 times the power of a train running at 125 mph (200kph). For HS2 trains running at the track’s design speed of 250 mph (400kph) power required increases to 4 times. More power requires more energy. HS2 Ltd state that a journey time saving of 3.5 minutes consumes 23% more energy (300kph to 360kph).
HS2 is not high speed in fact at all, but in the words of the Green Party of England and Wales who, along with the UK Independence Party (UKIP) utterly oppose HS2 ‘ultra-high speed’. Ultra high speed broadband is the only real green solution that would meet the business case for HS2 but instead of spending £1.1bn on upgrading the nation’s broadband and bringing the internet to the 5.7m homes in the UK without it we are spending about £80bn on HS2 (all costs accounted for) which will be used by the tiny minority of people who can afford it and who regularly commute long distance - 95% of journeys are made locally. Otherwise HS2 is nothing more than a glamour project: the 21st century Concorde, destined to heavy losses to the public purse and devastating environmental blight.
Environmental Impact news
Scathing attack on the environmental impact of HS2 in the Independent on 3rd February 2013:
Indigo Jones blog entry on HS2 (Politics, tech and media issues from a Muslim perspective) - 'HS2 will destroy beauty not create it'