Phase 1 of HS2 Faces Years of Scrutiny as 1,925 Petitions Filed for Hybrid Bill

26th May 2014 – HS2 faces years of parliamentary scrutiny during the Hybrid Bill process after individuals, groups and councils impacted by the £50 billion rail line deposited over 1,900 petitions with the Committee reviewing the detail of the Bill. Despite the Government’s best efforts to suppress opposition by insisting on four hard copies of all petitions be delivered by hand to Westminster and a £20 fee being charged, nearly four times the number of petitions have been submitted than were for Cross Rail., and double the number of petitions submitted for HS1.

The likely hood of HS2 ever reaching Manchester and Leeds reduced as it has become clear that the petitioning for Phase 1 (London to Birmingham) process will take longer than the three years Cross Rail took. If the Government tries to do deals with the largest petitioners then this will add even more pressure to a budget which is already out of control. HS2 Ltd admitted just last week to overspending its £101 million consultants’ budget by a staggering £87 million. While the Major Projects Authority rated the project Red/Amber for the fourth consecutive year in its Friday report.

Commenting on the number of petitions, Richard Houghton, HS2 Action Alliance said;

Public opinion polls have consistently demonstrated that British tax payers do not want HS2 and despite the Governments best efforts to steam roll through this political vanity project, to suppress negative reports and opposition, they cannot ignore the thousands of petitions that have been deposited. It is time for this white elephant to be given full and detailed scrutiny.

“It will take four to five years to review and hear these petitions. We will be three years into the next Government by then and with a realistic price tag of £70 billion we will see just how strong the political support for this white elephant really is.”

Ends

For more information:

Richard Houghton

07803 178 037

email: richardwhoughton@gmail.com