HS2AA Submit Evidence to HS2 Select Committee

HS2AA have engaged a series of independent professional experts to assemble an extensive evidence base on the environmental impacts of HS2. The output of this work will be presented to the House of Commons Select Committee which is looking at the Phase 1 Hybrid Bill.

You can download by clicking here a copy of our Parliamentary briefing on the key findings. 

Under Parliamentary rules, the Select Committee is unable to recommend any significant changes to the route of Phase 1 nor hear arguments on why HS2 should be cancelled. HS2AA is therefore using this opportunity to focus on mitigation measures should the project proceed and, in particular, is calling for the Select Committee to recommend three key changes to the Hybrid Bill.

First, a reduction in speed from 360 kmh to 300 kmh-on the basis such a move would reduce environmental impacts including reducing noise, carbon emissions and impacts on wildlife.  The speed of HS2 was set at the outset of the project and the reduction suggested by HS2AA would add just 3.5 minutes on the London-Birmingham journey time and 10 minutes to Leeds/Manchester yet mean a 30% reduction in noise, 23% less carbon emissions and 30% less energy consumption. It would also enable the route of Phase 2 to be built avoiding sensitive environmental areas.

Second, the creation of an independent regulatory body which would be able to hold HS2 Ltd to account to ensure mitigation measures work properly. HS2 Ltd’s own forecasts confirm that the environmental impacts of the scheme will be felt decades into the future. HS2 Ltd state they will undertaken various mitigation measures to reduce the impacts of this scheme but they have no incentive to deliver such measures properly and their record to date does not inspire confidence. An independent body would  give confidence that there will be the required focus on delivering the environmental mitigation measures promised by HS2 Ltd.

Third, a clear commitment in the Hybrid Bill to plant the two million trees alongside the route of Phase 1 which have been promised-but for which few details have been provided.

The Select Committee will be hearing from independent experts on the following topics: Carbon, Air Quality, Landscape, Waste, Trees, Ecology and Railways.

You can download a copy of HS2AA’s slide presentation to the Select Committee by clicking here.

HS2AA wish to place on record our thanks to all those generous donors from across the country whose support made preparation of these reports and expert evidence possible. There is now a clear and impartial evidence base that confirms that the environmental impacts of HS2 will be far more significant than claimed by HS2 Ltd and the Department for Transport. The key issue for the Select Committee and Parliament is whether they are willing to do anything to address these impacts.

HS2AA is asking its supporters to raise these issues with their Member of Parliament.

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