Nick wrote:The Green view is inconsistent, repressive and somewhat bizarre.
animist wrote:inconsistent - why? Repressive - only inasmuch as any policy represses alternatives. Bizarre - to you maybe
Nick wrote:That requires a fuller answer than I have time for. I'll be back!
The Green Party reiterates its opposition to the HS2 rail link between London and the north of England.
26 September 2013
The Greens are the only Party in opposition to HS2 at Westminster since the project has had the backing of all three main party leaders since its inception (which occurred during that last Labour Government), despite some backbench protest.
Apart from the Green, there are some who think it a misuse of money, and some who think it shouldn't go through their constituency.
Ed Balls has told the Labour conference that his Party still backs HS2 but might review it after the next election, while questioning whether the project is “the best way to spend £50bn for the future of the country.”
Pure electioneering; facing both ways at once. It is a valid question, but frankly, he should know by now which way he wants to jump.
(Meanwhile Labour Deputy Leader Harriet Harman has stated that Labour policy remains firmly behind HS2.)
The Green Party has a clear answer to Balls’s question: It isn’t.
OK, tell us more...
The Greens support high speed rail in principle because it should improve Britain’s transport system, reduce road and air traffic and help cut carbon emissions.
But HS2 does too much damage to local communities and to the environment, and is too pricey.
"Communities"! Grrr!!! Explains nothing, but let's try. Some will be "damaged" by being left out. Some by being included. Some by being passed through. But isn't a failure to improve also some sort of damage by omission? You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs. All we seem to have have from the Greens is a preference for the status quo. So how does that improve Britain's transport system, reduce car and air traffic and cut emissions?
To achieve high speeds the trains are expected to use up to 50% more fuel than Eurostar so carbon emissions will not be reduced.
But surely, replacing hundreds of cars with a single train will improve things, won't it? And high speeds will be required to compete with air alternatives.
The enormous sums involved could be better spent improving transport for everybody,
The best estimates we have say that new capacity is needed. Rail usage has doubled since privatisation (hurrah!) and investment grown dramatically. To upgrade the existing routes would have a number of serious problems. Years of disruption and travel misery for existing passengers, which would cost billions to the economy, though little directly to the Exchequer. The Greens should recognise this in the same way the include carbon costs. Secondly, the existing route would not be able to take the increased speeds, even with all new tracks. And as for environmental damage, this still occurs if you add an extra couple of lines alongside existing tracks. So the difference in cost, in terms of pounds, and indeed carbons, is much smaller than the Greens imagine.
not just the wealthy business-people who will be able to afford to use HS2.
This way folly lies. Just think of all the things we would not now have if we had been concerned that the "rich" would be using them first. Trains, cars, mobile phones, TV's cameras, computers... in fact, just about anything more sophisticated than a potato. And even that was the result of elitist, dangerous, expensive, uncertain speculation by a bunch of rich, powerful men.
And it is wrong in any case. No-one is proposing that existing routes and services will be stopped altogether. Cheaper travel will still be available. London to Glasgow by bus for a tenner. If you've got the time, then why not (I've done it myself). All we have hear is green envy and repression.
Rupert Read is the Green Party’s national spokesperson on transport as well as being lead Green candidate in the east of England at next year’s European elections.
Read eh? I wonder if his PhD was in transport economics....?
Dr. Read said:
“HS2 is not a green solution. That money needs to be spent instead on increasing rail capacity by adding more track to existing routes, and by upgrading freight-only routes for passenger use too.
Which won't give the market segmentation, will not be competitive with air, will cost a fortune in disruption to existing services, and will still carry a big green cost.
“At the same time, we need wider-ranging policies designed to reduce the need for long-distance travel,
WOT!? Like going to see friends and relations? Going on holiday? Earning a crust to support your family? Since privatisation (though this is not causally connected) we have seen massive advances in technology which could reduce the "need" for travel. But yet, though, say "driving for pleasure" has decreased the number of miles travelled has grown hugely too. If people want to travel, then, Dr. Read, kindly shut up, and stay at home.
while integrating local public transport systems (for example, as has actually happened to good effect in London over the last 15 years) and continuing to make streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians.”
Cyclists and pedestrians are not really part of the rail debate, are they...?
“I am sure most ordinary people see HS2 as a politicians’ vanity project, which should be stopped. I agree with them.”
I'd rather see some evidence, than rely on people's opinions. After all, most people think the Greens do not represent a viable electoral choice. On that basis, therefore, he should quit. But he won't.
At its conference this month, the Green Party voted to re-affirm its policy to re-nationalise the railways,
The politics of envy again, nothing to do with transport or green policy.
taking them away from private operators who have prioritised shareholders’ dividends over a network well-run for the benefit of all.
For decades, there was under-investment in railways, a decline in usage, and creaky safety. All these have improved under privatisation. I think we need a bit more justification of you opinion, don't you?
So please explain again... Why do we want a more poorly run railway that costs the country more, to go to fewer places, more slowly....?