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To: Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP


In the light of the Coronavirus having taught us to meet online rather than via a train line, please cancel or at least defer Phase 1 of HS2.

Why is this important?

The pandemic is costing the Government billions. Do we really need to spend possibly another £100 billion on a project that has already been overtaken?
When taking his February decision on HS2 the Prime Minister was, advised by both his Senior Adviser and his Transport Adviser to cancel the project but the then Chancellor of the Exchequer said it could be afforded. It was said to be justified by the cost to benefit ratio. Yet some say that ratio is being distorted by writing off much expenditure already incurred. Certainly the benefit will be eroded by the new procedures we are now being forced to learn.
There is already less reliance on big meetings round a table usually in London. At the same time electric powered transport is being developed not only for cars and small buses but even for aeroplanes. The focus will be on journey times from home, now often the office, to venues for many fewer physical meetings likely to be held in out of town venues or close to small regional airports. Inter City connections will not give any time saving for such journeys. Much as the mid 20th Century saw the decline of railways as we took to the Motorways, so the 21st will see the decline of InterCity as we take to InterNet.

The Future
Politicians of all parties aspire to leave a legacy. That of the present generation is currently set to be a transport system mismatched with the needs of a post Coronavirus society.
The cost would be:
* a massive increase in debt at a time when debt will already be almost overwhelming;
* the destruction of ancient woodland and desecration of nature;
* the risk of increasing the spread of Covid-19 from workers arriving on site for HS2 in close knit groups as has already been reported.
* the risk of jeopardising the improvement of rail links in the North of England in the event of an overspend on the current HS2 budget.

Planning should start for the infrastucture needed in the world to which we are now moving. This should include major improvements to local or regional rail links in the North of England but it will not include the HS2 project which should now be cancelled or at the very least deferred.



2020-05-10 17:38:05 +0100

100 signatures reached

2020-05-09 21:02:39 +0100

50 signatures reached

2020-05-09 18:02:31 +0100

25 signatures reached

2020-05-09 16:27:29 +0100

10 signatures reached