Written evidence from Jane Farley (HSR
I do not believe that there is any credible argument
in favour of HS2 and many reasons against it.
Rail Package 2 would provide more than the required
capacity on the West coast Mainline at one sixth of the cost and
in a much shorter time.
The forecast requirements for travel are based on
inaccurate, unsubstantiated information and do not take into consideration
the effect of faster broadband and internet connectivity.
HS2 can only replace domestic air journeys served
by its route plus the forecast reduction in travel time of approximately
20 mins by 2032 is not sufficient to make an impression on potential
The scheme will not benefit the north as research
has shown that HS2 will serve only the top 20% salary earners
with the majority of jobs being created in the south, particularly
London. In fact it could be said to exacerbate the problem rather
than relieve it.
The project is incredibly expensive with a business
case that is not proven. The £30 billion could be saved and
a far smaller sum used to invest in existing rail networks and
schemes to improve transport as well as discourage unnecessary
journeys. At a time of financial restraint and government cutbacks
to propose spending so much money on an unproven scheme must be
The lessons of HS1 have not been heeded and rail
travel in Britain already compares favourably with high speed
rail in Europe.
This scheme is hugely expensive, has an unproven
business case, is not going to deliver either sufficiently better
travel links or improve the north/south divide as has been argued.
In addition it will be hugely destructive of the environment,
cutting through Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, imposing
years of upheaval, social and economic disruption to those living
along the line. If approved this project could affect thousands
upon thousands of peoples lives in this country as their environment
is down graded, property is destroyed or significantly devalued
and their daily lives are blighted by constant, repetitive noise.
No one who does not work for HS2 or is not a politician
looking for a glamorous project to pin their name to could possibly
think this scheme was a proper or wise use of public money. It
is most likely that those who promote this scheme will not be
in office to deal with the social, environmental and economic
problems that will result if this scheme goes ahead. My whole
family including many who are not living anywhere close to the
proposed line are against this scheme and will continue to do
everything we can to stop it.