HS2 and Transport
Having once in principle been in favour of HS2 as it potentially could reduce domestic flights, the Green Party is opposed to this vanity project dreamt up by Labour and wholeheartedly adopted by the coalition government.
Even at the predicted astronomical cost of £80 billion – and that is before a single track has been laid – Dr. Richard Walling, Director of the free market think tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs, (not a natural bedfellow of progressives!) says it not only defies economic logic but will irreparably damage beautiful countryside, reduce house values and “be unbelievably costly to the tax payer while delivering incredibly poor value for money”.
The idea that such an immense project and eye-watering budget is worth it to shave 15 minutes off the journey time to Birmingham (and vice versa) ignores the changing work patterns in modern culture. Most trains these days have free WiFi and those visiting London or Birmingham for business can quit easily work on the train. Alternatively they are taking advantage of high speed broadband at home or in the office and working from there, using video conferencing or email.
One of the biggest infrastructure shortcomings in the UK today are areas where broadband provision is pitifully inadequate. Just a fraction of the budget proposed for HS2 could provide fibre optic connectivity to every corner of the nation.
Train fares in the UK are some of the highest in Europe. We will bring the railway network back into public ownership to ensure we have better services and lower fares. This will provide a real alternative to those wanting to leave their car at home.
We will divert money currently being wasted on huge road projects
And put more of the UK’s transport budget into public transport, especially local schemes for bus travel and cycling. We will subsidise existing public transport to make fares cheaper and invest in a better and more co-ordinated public transport system
This will strengthen communities, reduce crime, improve the health of the population and reduce traffic fatalities and create jobs.