The Environmental Case Against HS2

HS2 was originally promoted as part of our low-carbon future, but HS2 Ltd’s own figures prove just how wide of the mark such claims are. HS2 has a huge environmental price.

    HS2 won’t reduce carbon emissions

    HS2 Ltd’s own analysis shows low numbers of passengers shifting from higher-emitting modes of transport such as the car or plane to HS2.

    Official forecasts show HS2 will be dependent on millions of journeys transferring from existing rail services to high-speed trains, which emit significantly more carbon.

    HS2 Ltd’s calculations downplay the carbon emissions from construction and use of materials – emissions a report commissioned by the Department for Transport described as ‘significant’.


    HS2 won’t reduce demand for flying

    The UK’s domestic aviation market has been steadily shrinking since 2005, meaning opportunities for HS2 to displace air travel are reducing, not increasing.

    Domestic routes cover journeys impractical by surface transport, serving places such as Aberdeen, Inverness, Belfast, Exeter, Plymouth and the Channel Islands. HS2 won’t provide an alternative for these routes.

    Flights from Manchester and Leeds account for a tiny proportion of the London’s air travel market. HS2 will not reduce the number of flights to London.


    HS2 will have a devastating impact on precious wildlife and biodiversity

    HS2’s design specification means long straight tracks through pristine landscapes and severe disruption to urban areas over many years.

    HS2 will pass through or adversely impact over 130 protected wildlife sites, including 10 Sites of Special Scientific Interest, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and over 50 ancient woodlands, many over 400 years old.

    HS2 will cause an unacceptable level of damage to important protected species present in the proposed HS2 route corridor.


HS2 Action Alliance believes the absence of carbon savings and the unprecedented level of damage to the physicial environment should be sufficient to cancel the project on sustainability grounds alone. If you agree, join us today.