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HS2 is not a done deal yet, say local Lib Dems

November 6, 2015 9:42 AM
baroness jenny randerson with richard dickson

Richard Dickson with Baroness Jenny Randerson

baroness jenny randerson with john whitehouse

John Whitehouse with Baroness Jenny Randerson

Richard Dickson, Lib Dem parliamentary spokesperson for Kenilworth & Southam, and John Whitehouse, Lib Dem county councillor for Kenilworth Abbey visited the House of Lords yesterday to meet Baroness Jenny Randerson, the spokesperson for Transport in Tim Farron's leadership team in Westminster.

The meeting provided the opportunity to brief Baroness Randerson in detail about the massive impact that HS2 has had over the last 5½ years on the lives of many residents living in the constituency, and in particular those in Burton Green, the community most affected outside London by HS2.

Richard and John explained why local Liberal Democrats have opposed HS2 from the beginning, and continue to do so. They also promoted a new national campaign called Rethink HS2, which is advocating an alternative high speed rail strategy and routing called High Speed UK - which can deliver much better rail connectivity to more cities up and down the UK, at lower cost and more quickly than HS2.

Once the HS2 hybrid bill completes its committee stage in the House of Commons, presumably sometime in 2016, attention will switch to the House of Lords, where peers can be expected to subject the bill to more critical examination than it has received from MPs in the Commons to date.

Richard Dickson said: "HS2 is not a done deal yet. There are still many stages of the parliamentary process to go, and the likelihood of further delays. The impact of the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, with further massive cuts in public expenditure expected, may yet swing parliamentary opinion against continuing to spend such huge sums of money on a project with such a poor business and economic case."

Notes:

  1. The Rethink HS2 campaign can be found at http://rethink-hs2.com/
  2. Details of the alternative High Speed UK scheme are at http://www.highspeeduk.co.uk/