“The cancellation of the ‘Golborne Link’ of HS2 is vindication of everything we’ve been saying for more than a decade – you can deliver more benefits to more people more quickly for less money without the massive environmental impact by upgrading existing infrastructure, reopening old lines and providing sustainable local transport.
“People want to get into and around the towns and cities where they live and work. They don’t need a fast train for fat cats that only ever got this far to prop up the powerful lobbyists from the construction industry” said John, spokesperson for Stop HS2 North.
At a local level, the scrapping of the ‘Golborne Spur’ avoids harm and negative impacts to ancient woodland and the general ecology. According to CPRE, sphagnum moss and other rare flora and fauna would have risked extinction . Many local communities along the 13-mile route also faced substantial permanent impacts from the railway. For example, both villages of Hollins Green and Warburton would have been split in two.
The opportunist spin is that cancelling the Golborne Link is a betrayal of the North, but it is absolutely not. If you genuinely wanted to level up the North, the very last thing you’d do is make it quicker and easier to travel to London which is where the economic benefits would go.
If you want to help the North of England, or indeed any region, you spend that money in those areas to develop transport systems that ordinary people will use every day. In many cases, local and regional infrastructure and links have been in desperate need of improvement and investment for decades.
John added, “For a small percentage of the cost of HS2 you can replace 11 miles of missing track between Skipton and Colne and reopen the Woodhead tunnels, which gives you 2 new lines across the Pennines, and that is surely what a Northern Powerhouse is all about.”
Alan, a spokesperson for HS2 Rebellion said, “The original plan for HS2 has changed immeasurably from what was on the table 10 years ago – after scrapping the Golborne Link, the cancellation of the Birmingham-Leeds leg and the Heathrow Spur, along with the shelving of the HS1 link – one has to wonder what HS2 is for? And does it represent what was originally voted for?
“It is quite staggering to see so many fundamental changes being made to a £100billion+ mega-project at such a late stage and with so little explanation or alternative. Once again HS2 seem to be making it up as they go along – at tremendous cost to the taxpayer, local communities, and our environment.
“Now that working from home is established and will continue to reduce the numbers of long-distance and city commuters , you have to ask why this government is hell bent on going ahead with such an environmentally damaging white elephant? The answer, of course, is that a select group of people are going to make a lot of money out of it and that has always been the only real reason for building HS2.”
While HS2 continues to cost the planet both financially and environmentally, a group of activists are now into their fifth week underground in tunnels in Swynnerton, Staffordshire, resisting HS2’s attempts to cut down the woodland.
We also await a judge’s ruling – the first of its kind – on a mega-injunction, which has been described as “an affront to democracy”. HS2 is seeking a route-wide injunction to criminalise anyone who sets foot in an area covering approximately 33 square miles, which will last for 2 decades.
 The countryside charity, CPRE. A win for countryside campaigners as harmful HS2 route is scrapped!
 The Evening Standard (8 June 2022), said the change to London office life is “here to stay” reporting that “79% of London staff said working from home had been positive” and “61% of London workers say they now work from home at least one day a week”. Almost two-thirds of Londoners are hybrid working in post-Covid capital.