Current Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry recently claimed all party support for the HS2 plans that will cut through our area. Whilst it is true that her Conservative PArty along with Labour and the Lib Dems continue in the main to support this project the Green Party have always made clear their opposition on a variety of grounds. The cost of around £50 billion and likely to rise as these projects inevitably to over the years is an obscene waste of money in our current climate with little future benefit. Opponents of the scheme are increasingly being portrayed as luddites when in fact nothing is further form the truth. The Green Party welcomes investment in the transport system, however this should be in the development of the existing infrastructure. The plans for HS2 will benefit a few very wealthy travellers who can afford the fares to travel on the train and save the limited amount of time. Whilst the majority of commuters continue to use overcrowded and inadequate trains on a daily basis. The cost, disruption to homes leaving along the line – not only the compulsory purchase properties receiving compensation but the 1000’s of homes that will not qualify for compensation for whose lives will be devastated by the noise and disruption, environmental impact and transformation of areas such as Toton that will alter beyond all recognition if the proposed stop there goes ahead, are all solid reasons to object to the plans. John Whitelegg, Green Party spokesperson on sustainable development, and an expert in the transport industry has said: “The reasons for opposing the current set of proposals revolve round the flawed business case, the damage to environmentally sensitive areas, the forecast increases in car and air transport that are associated with high speed rail demand forecasts and the very poor performance of high speed rail in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” As is clear from the Vote on Monday evening in parliament the main Westminster parties do indeed support the HS2 idea although no party has 100% agreement and Labour seem in an increasing quandary as it was there idea but they are increasingly seeing the figures don’t add up and the benefits are not clear. Therefore the only way to stop the plans are top actively oppose them individually and to support a Party that will take oppose them politically – that party is the Green Party. Caroline Lucas voted against the Bill on Monday evening and teh Green Party will continue to oppose the plans in their current form.
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