So finally the truth is out, the Government has left it to a charity to uncover the real impact that the building of HS2 will have on Warwickshire, The Council for the Protection of Rural England has revealed that not content with cutting its way through our county taking all in its wake with it, we will also have to spend several years putting up with a continual stream of lorries charging through Leamington and Warwick on their way to and from the M40 carrying away cargoes of HS2 spoil to be dumped who knows where and bringing in materials to build a railway line no one wants or needs.
As a member of UKIP, the only party that is opposed to HS2, I have campaigned against the white elephant, pointing out that it is going to be of no economic benefit to either our beautiful county or to the country as a whole, it is proved that it will be an environmental disaster and the argument that we need more passenger rail capacity has been proved wrong, so now Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin is saying that it will increase freight capacity and bring short term gain to the area because of the people that will be employed building the thing. What will be the next reason they drag out to try to justify it, the only constant in the whole scheme appears to be the upward line the projected rise in its cost is following.
The National Audit Office says the business case for it is not proved and a report by the Institute of Economic Affairs say the costs have been vastly under estimated and are more likely to be £80 billion concluding that ‘it offers incredibly poor value for money’. Dr Richard Wellings, who wrote the report, was quoted in the press as saying the scheme is ‘slightly better than digging a hole on the ground and filling it in again’.
Our local Conservative MPs have both supported the scheme, Jeremy Wright is pressing for proper compensation for people directly affected by HS2 and will not go against the government as he is a junior minister, Chris White voted against the Paving Bill, not because he is against the scheme but because he wants more public consultation on it. Surely it is about time they both actually supported the people who voted them into Parliament? It is more than apparent the majority of voters in both their constituencies are opposed to the project.
It is time we made our voices heard here in Warwickshire and let the Government know that we neither need nor want HS2 carving its uneconomic way through the countryside.
Jane Brooks, Moreton Morrell