'Friends' hit out as Government gives the green light for HS2 rail project - The Redditch Standard

'Friends' hit out as Government gives the green light for HS2 rail project

WEST Midlands Friends of the Earth has lambasted the Government’s decision to go ahead with HS2, saying it was a costly and damaging mistake which would threaten wildlife, destroy ancient woodlands and do nothing to reduce climate-wrecking pollution.

Campaigner Chris Crean said: “Anyone who has tried to take public transport recently can tell you why building HS2 is completely the wrong decision.

“The estimated £100 billion earmarked for this project would be better spent fixing the dilapidated commuter rail network and funding other initiatives to encourage people out of their cars.

“The Government’s £5 billion sweetener on bus and cycling infrastructure is a nod in the right direction but falls way short of the investment required to build the low carbon transport infrastructure that the climate crisis demands.”

For Redditch residents however the nearest station will be just a short journey up the M42 to junction 6.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer and and Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid said: “Communities across our country are being held back by inadequate infrastructure.

“Better transport links won’t just boost capacity cut down your commute – they’ll stimulate local economies, create jobs and reduce pollution by getting cars off the road.

“That’s why, after careful consideration and on the condition of significant reform to its management, the Government has decided to proceed with HS2.

“HS2 will become the spine of our national transport network, shifting the country’s centre of gravity away from the capital and rebalancing opportunity fairly across the country.”

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said he was delighted the Prime Minister had given the go-ahead for HS2 as the region could ‘reap the considerable benefits from what was a once-in-a-generation infrastructure project’.

“I want to see the next phase of construction works get started immediately for the Birmingham to London link, with progress made on the lines to Manchester and Leeds as soon as possible.”

* WHAT do you think? Email your views to [email protected] or write to us at the Redditch Standard, Webb House, Church Green East, Redditch, B98 8BP.

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