HS2 is costing the Earth – Nationwide Day Of Action Against HS2
National Day of actions - Stop HS2

HS2 is costing the Earth – Nationwide Day Of Action Against HS2

Nationwide Day Of Action Against HS2 – 24th January 2022

HS2 is costing the Earth – financially and environmentally.

Today, a Bill to expand HS2 beyond Crewe will be laid in Parliament. Stop HS2 North, HS2 Rebellion, and other groups and individuals will take part in nationwide actions, events and solidarity protests against the expansion of High Speed Two.

Beginning at midday today, there will be a national day of action to raise awareness of HS2’s continuing ecocide, corruption, and financial mis-management. Today’s events follow Friday’s nationwide banner drop.

There will be events all along the line, including in Manchester, Birmingham, Buckinghamshire and London. There will be a particular focus on Birmingham (Thinktank Science Museum) and Manchester (Piccadilly Gardens).

An online “Twitter storm” will also take place using the hashtags #HS2CostingTheEarth, #StopHS2, and #HS2Rebellion.

Why are we protesting?

We anticipate this Bill being at least as environmentally and ecologically damaging as the previous Hybrid Bills. It will sanction immense and irreversible destruction to the environment, during a Climate and Ecological Emergency.

The government has already revealed that HS2’s failed attempts at “mitigation” means the next part of the project will only focus on “replaceable habit”. In other words, our rarest, most precious, precarious and vital habitats and ancient woodlands – which need the most protection –  are in the greatest danger specifically because they are so irreplaceable.

HS2 has been rocked in recent months by multiple allegations of corruption and evidence has been presented showing that Parliament has been seriously and repeatedly misled about the real cost and impact of HS2.

The financial costs of HS2 are now “out of control” having risen from an initial £37bn in 2009, up to £98bn last year. Lord Berkeley’s Review in 2019 suggested it would cost over £110bn. The former Chair of HS2, Terry Morgan, has admitted that “nobody knows” what HS2’s final cost will be. Recent estimates suggest the final figure will be closer to £200bn.

Following the cancellation of the North-Eastern leg of HS2 going from Birmingham to Leeds, there is no longer a business case for HS2 (if there ever was). The original projections for passenger numbers, modal shift, and financial return on investment have been exposed and demolished. Any pretence of “levelling-up” has now been abandoned.

This week is also the final opportunity for the public to have our say on the Integrated Rail Plan (https://committees.parliament.uk/work/1712/integrated-rail-plan). We encourage all those concerned about HS2 to use your voice, as the Committee will consider arguments from those opposing HS2.

Quotes

Alan, a spokesperson for Stop HS2 North said, “We began this National Day of Action with nationwide banner drops and now we will take part in protests and solidarity events all along the proposed route, so that we can demonstrate to the government how unpopular and unnecessary this project is.

“Despite spending vast sums of public money on PR and greenwashing to try to promote HS2 as a green project, HS2’s own figures show that it will never be carbon neutral during its 120-year lifespan. The UK government’s own strategy commits us to Net Zero by 2050. HS2 actively harms our ability to achieve that.

“People are being faced with a choice between being able to ‘heat or eat.’ Meanwhile, HS2 has a blank cheque to commit terrible and irreversible ecocide. This money ought to be used to properly fund our NHS, improve local transport links, help ordinary people with the rising cost of living, and to resolve our energy crisis
.”

An HS2 Rebellion spokesperson, Adam, raised further concerns, “This month HS2 announced plans to be net zero carbon by 2035. In reality what this means is that HS2 will use yet more public money to invest in carbon off-setting, so that it can continue the charade of selling itself as a green travel solution. But in fact HS2 is an unnecessary contributor to carbon emissions, which will shuttle a wealthy minority to new, purpose-built airport stations.

 “At COP26 in Glasgow, more than 100 countries, including the UK, declared that deforestation would end and be reversed by 2030. It is difficult to see how this commitment is compatible with building HS2 Phase 2B to Manchester, which would not be completed until the 2040s (at the earliest).

“HS2 Rebellion demands clarity from the government on how it plans to continue with the construction of an ecocidal trainline for an extra decade beyond its own promised deadline to end deforestation.

“The government’s promise at Cop26 can only mean that HS2 will be cancelled; or that the UK government has no intention of honouring the promises it made in front of the world’s leaders just a few months ago.

Contacts

Alan – 07979868459

Ellen – 07894507632

John – 07906372965

Images

Birmingham actions

Manchester actions

Banner drop actions on Friday

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