Supporters up in arms that HS2 might not be allowed to ruin irreplaceable natural habitats

Saddened: After all David Attenborough’s warnings about damage to the ecosystem on which human beings rely, it seems English people are quite happy to condemn species upon species to extinction in order to shorten their rail journeys by 20 minutes.

The HS2 high-speed rail link between London and the north of England could divide and destroy “huge swathes” of “irreplaceable” natural habitats – but supporters are reportedly devastated that part of it may be scrapped.

So much for our concern for the environment. Nobody cares that any number of rare species could die out, as long as they get to their destination 20 minutes faster.

And after all the warnings from David Attenborough. I wonder how he feels, now he knows he was wasting his breath on the general public.

It may seem trivial but it contributes to the expected destruction of a million animal species, ruining entire ecosystems on which human beings depend, as Sir David says, “for every breath of air we take and every mouthful of food that we eat.”

No, no – you’d rather make your journey 20 minutes shorter.

In fact, it doesn’t matter what members of the general public think.

It seems the Tory government is likely to scale down or even cancel HS2, because politicians like Boris Johnson want to put the money elsewhere.

Johnson’s transport adviser, Andrew Gilligan, is known to be against HS2, and Dominic Cummings, his chief adviser, is also not keen, having described it last year as a “white elephant”.

Johnson has for months been expected to endorse HS2 if it can reduce its costs, after commissioning a review by Douglas Oakervee, which is understood to support the whole line going ahead.

However, the government is dragging its feet over the publication of the Oakervee report and final decision, claiming the document is not finished yet even though it was submitted to the Department for Transport in November.

A DfT source insisted “there is no final report” as Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, “had some questions” about earlier drafts and it was sent back for revisions.

It seems that, if the government does cancel or restrict HS2, it will have made the right choice, at long last – although, as usual, for the wrong reasons.

Source: HS2 supporters fear Boris Johnson plans to scrap part of rail project | UK news | The Guardian

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  1. hugosmum70 January 17, 2020 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    depends on where the money is used…. at this time, with so many going homelwess, hungry, cold, etc it could be better spent than on something that after all is a luxury…i dont mean trains are a luxury *though at the prices they charge it could be argued that they are. a lot of people cant afford to use them. what i would like to know is……. will it really bring costs down for the average travellor or will it cost more for their saving of 20 mins per journey

  2. Jon Lisle-Summers January 17, 2020 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    With certain irony, not only do a few species more not get the chop but an unendangered subspecies, the lumpen, drunken, urban bourgeoisie, “accidentally” get a reprieve in London – doesn’t Boris’ pere not live close to the proposed line?
    Also, it’s the delicate corridors between species’ populations, creating DNA diversity, that are vitally important: no diversity, slowly dwindling population and then extinction. That’s the key problem. All kinds of human activity can cut the corridors, principally roads but also agriculture styles, changes to forests and power infrastructure contribute.,
    Also, on a purely Tory promise, doesn’t axing HS2 endanger the overhyped Northern Powerhouse? Or has that been extinct forever? And this makes it twice?

    • Zippi January 24, 2020 at 2:57 pm - Reply

      That fact that it started in £ondon should tell you everything that you need to know. I always said that, when the project runs out of money, which, inevitably, it will, the North will still be left with its substandard service and antiquated rolling stock. Even if the project did not run out of money, when was the North projected to have its part of the scheme up and running? If the project had started in the North, when the money ran out, at least services in the North would be improved and there is already a half-decent service between Birmingham and £ondon.

  3. trev January 17, 2020 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    I don’t even know why we need high speed trains. What we need is trains that run on time, that are reliable, comfortable and affordable.

  4. Growing Flame January 17, 2020 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    HS2 gives the appearance of showing concern over the “North/SouthDivide”. So the “new” Tory Party may want to keep it as they have to maintain the illusion that they are concerned about regional inequality. (To be honest, major infrastructure projects are a reasonable way to spend a lot of money to give employment and help regeneration).

    But evidence from the high speed rail link in Japan indicates that having a new , fast rail link to Tokyo REDUCES economic growth in the peripheral towns as it just becomes easier to travel into the capital city so why bother having offices or production facilities outside Tokyo!?

    If it becomes fast, comfortable and easy to get into London on HS2, why bother having regional offices in Manchester or Leeds?

    In the same vein, why develop facilities in Devon and Cornwall if Flybe provides a quick, easy way into London instead?

    I don’t think the Johnson government was elected with a coherent strategy. They just got elected to “Get Brexit done!” and the rest will have to be made up as they go along.

    Which makes them vulnerable to a forceful Labour Party with a convincing and coherent alternative.

  5. Ben Oldfield January 17, 2020 at 9:03 pm - Reply

    The claim is that over 100 ancient woodlands will be affected but they admit the it will only affect 40 hectares. Thus each will be reduced on average by ½ a hectares and overall will reduce the ancient woodlands by less the 0.05%. Note the widening of the A14 has already destroyed over 20 hectares and no one is up in arms by this..

    HS2 is the only current project which will make a measurable reduction in transport CO2 emission. It is essential to provide extra capacity for getting people out of their cars and HGV transported goods off the roads. The existing west coast railway is at maximum capacity.

    The high speed will get people out of their cars and will still be better than electric cars in reducing CO2. Reducing the speed will save very little cost and will reduce the attraction to reduce air and road use and so CO2.

    • Mike Sivier January 17, 2020 at 11:40 pm - Reply

      I think you need to read the comment by Jon Lisle-Summers and reconsider your words.

  6. hugosmum70 January 24, 2020 at 11:26 pm - Reply

    why do we have to have such high speeds…….. and wont it open up the possibility of even more accidents at speed? causing more deaths, and needing more money for the medical services to attend train crashes, and the aftermath will then need to be cleared away by whatever firms will have to be involved.again at great costs no doubt. before railway engineers can then get overtime to do all the neccessary repairs not forgetting the cost of rolling stock that will be lost and no longer fit for putting back into service.

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