An Open Letter to Justine Greening, Secretary of State for Transport

Dear Secretary of State,

You said you would look at HS2 rationally. And yet you ignore your own department’s evidence that our alternative generates over £6 return for every £1 invested compared with under £2 return on HS2. Furthermore, half the stated benefits from HS2 are from the erroneous assumption that time is unproductive on trains, which your predecessor recognised was not the case.

Network rail also agree that our alternative meets HS2 Ltd demand forecasts and had to produce a new forecast to make the case.

Not so long ago you said with reference to Heathrow Runway 3:

We have had a consultation, to which residents have responded overwhelmingly by saying that they do not want the plan to go ahead. Despite all those points, Ministers still seek to override people’s will. That is deeply worrying.”

Yet now as a minister you have completely ignored and buried the consultation response on HS2, which was massively against HS2 on every question.

In particular, on compensation, your predecessor promised that householders affected by a national strategic project would be fairly compensated. The consultation offered three options and response was overwhelmingly in favour of the property purchase bond. Yet you have offered the worst possible scheme, an extended hardship scheme that will leave thousands trapped in their homes until 2027.

You and your Government have engaged in the very worst of the “weasel words”, fiddling the figures and reneging on promises that have brought politicians into such contempt. This must be deeply disappointing for those MPs who are men and women of integrity and who seek to make rational decisions for the good of the country.

As country after country in Europe and Asia discover the folly of inappropriate, politically driven High Speed Rail projects, we will continue to work hard to inform the public, the media and your colleagues of this damaging and wasteful decision.

Yours sincerely

Jerry Marshall

Jerry Marshall

Chairman, AGAHST

(Action Groups Against High Speed Two)

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