Nearly two thirds of population opposed to money being spent on HS2

20th December 2011– A YouGov public opinion poll has found that nearly two thirds of the public oppose money being spent on the planned £32 billion high speed rail link between London and Birmingham (HS2).

64 per cent of those surveyed in the poll (commissioned by groups opposed to HS2) believe that it is wrong to spend money on the proposed line at this time. In June this year 48 per cent of respondents to a YouGov poll for the Tax Payers’ Alliance were opposed to plans to fund what will be, per mile, the world’s most expensive railway.
Voter opposition
The latest poll found that 66 per cent of Labour’s general election voters are opposed to HS2, which was originally proposed by a Labour Government. 68 per cent of Liberal Democrat voters are against the line along with the majority of Conservative voters, 59 per cent.
North South Divide
While supporters of HS2 believe that it will help close the North-South divide both regions are already united in their opposition to it. 62 per cent of Northern respondents; 64 per cent of those surveyed in London and 66 per cent of respondents in the South think that it is wrong to spend money on it at the current time.
Despite the Scottish Government’s enthusiasm for the line, 70 per cent of Scottish respondents are opposed to HS2, which will cost UK taxpayers £773 million in planning and consultants in the current Parliament alone. Perhaps most interestingly, respondents from the Midlands and Wales, the region that takes in Birmingham where the phase of the line will terminate, came out 64 per cent in favour of shelving spending on the project.
The news does not get any better for proponents of the line when opposition is split by gender, with 71 per cent of women against the environmentally damaging project.
Commenting on the survey results, Jerry Marshall, Chairman, AGAHST, said: “The tide has turned, and HS2 is now opposed by voters across all party lines. It is clearly the wrong priority in the eyes of the majority of the public, with only a quarter of the population still supporting it. It is time for the Government to think again and tackle our country’s real transport priorities.”
Note to editors:
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,744 adults.  Field work was undertaken between 14th and 15th December 2011.  The survey was carried out online.  The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
For more information please contact: 
Richard Houghton Tel: Mobile: 07803 178 037