HS2 not debated at Green Party conference
The Green Party’s spring conference has ended without a vote having been taken on the contentious issue of HS2. The Greens have long opposed the high speed rail project, but a proposal was put to the conference to change that. The motion would have seen the Greens support HS2, including the leg to Leeds, as well as Northern Powerhouse Rail.
However, the motion was not heard as a result of conference running out of time to debate it. With almost 90 minutes of debate on a substantial motion on defence, the HS2 proposals fell off the agenda.
Despite this, the party did pass a series of significant policy motions, including support for the right to family reunification for all migrants and a rewrite of the defence policy which saw the Greens abandon their opposition to NATO.
This article was jointly published with Left Foot Forward
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Image credit: Les Chatfield – Creative Commons
As a retired railway professional who has been involved in the design of new and altered railways and the maintenance and operation of the existing network, I have always opposed HS2. I recognise that there are other views and that a proper discussion needs to be had, so I am disappointed that it was not debated at conference. When standing for parliament in 2015 I was interviewed by the BBC about HS2 and said that it will be a very fast siding finishing up in the middle of nowhere because whilst they may afford to start it ( which they have), they will run out of money before finishing it. We are seeing this with the cancellation of HS2 phases and as the economic crisis continues, standards of living fall and the war in Ukraine rumbles on, more will be cut.
I would point those Greens who think it is a good investment to read the excellent reports produced by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) on the value for money generated by the project and alternative investments in transport and communications along the route. Looked at through a Green lens, it’s a no-brainier – HS-2 is a colossal waste of money.
So the Green Party remain standing shoulder to shoulder with UKIP and the BREXIT party in opposition to this new electric, low carbon railway. I’m not sure about the BNP or Britain first (is anyone) but rumour has it that they would support the cause too.