12 Jan 2012

Letter of the Week: Anti-HS2 Campaign Will Continue

Shahrar Ali's letter in Brent Times, 12 Jan 2012 edition (p. 20), 'Our anti-HS2 rail campaign will continue'.

Transcript follows:

'Our anti-HS2 rail campaign will continue'

The notion that there may be a silver lining on the cloud hanging over residents who would be adversely affected if the HS2 high speed rail proposal got the go-ahead is a dangerous one, (‘Campaigners pledge to step up battle if HS2 goes ahead’, 5 Jan 2012).

The fact that a light rail scheme for north west London could take advantage of a new station at Old Oak Common IF HS2 went ahead is hardly cause for celebration for residents of Camden, Kilburn, Wesminster North and Kensal Green who would have to contend with a tunnel being built under their homes.

The HS2 proposal, even though given the all-clear by the government this week, would have a long way to run in terms of public consent and planning approvals. It would surely be better for proponents of light rail not to risk having their campaign recruited by proponents of an ill-conceived HS2 plan – unless, that is, they are in favour of the HS2 in its own right, too, or would wish to prioritise it?

John Whitelegg, Green Party spokesperson on sustainable development, and an expert in the transport industry has said: "The reasons for opposing the current set of proposals revolve round the flawed business case, the damage to environmentally sensitive areas, the forecast increases in car and air transport that are associated with high speed rail demand forecasts and the very poor performance of high speed rail in reducing greenhouse gas emissions."

Brent Green Party supports light rail as part of an integrated transport solution for the borough, together with better pedestrianisation and cycling routes.

However, together with a growing number of organisations and individuals campaigning nationally under the banner of STOP HS2, we continue to campaign vigorously against HS2. It would also represent a massive cost which none of us can afford.

Shahrar Ali
Green Party London Assembly candidate for Brent and Harrow
PO Box 54785
London NW9 1FL

See John Whitelegg's latest article in the Huffington Post: 'HS2 is Socially Regressive, Environmentally Damaging and Bafflingly Irrational' (11 Jan 2012)

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