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Liberal Democrats Fighting to keep HS2 on track

by derekdeedman on 28 January, 2017

The Liberal Democrats voted for greater scrutiny and environmental protection in the construction of High Speed 2 as the HS2 Bill went through Report Stage in the Lords.

Bill Bradshaw put his name to an amendment that would have ensured that construction on Phase One would not have commenced until a full costs estimate had been produced. There is a concern that constructing a very small proportion of the route will cost a disproportionately large amount of money, and with the currently very vague costings for HS2 this could mean that the project runs out of money and does not get further than Birmingham. Liberal Democrats support HS2 and want it to succeed, therefore we want to ensure that the approach to it is rigorous.

Jenny Randerson, Liberal Democrat Shadow Transport Secretary, called a vote on her own amendment which called for the provision of an alternative means of removing excavated spoil and demolition material from the Euston area. Currently the Government is over-relying on the use of road to remove such materials, which is damaging for the environment and for local residents.

The amendment was defeated partly thanks to an uncooperative Labour Party. Following the vote Jenny said:

“Despite doing the correct thing and investing in our railways the Government is completely missing the point of the green agenda. They risk blocking streets, adding to the runaway air pollution, in a poorly planned attempt to move spoil and demolition material from around Euston.

“Euston and neighbouring areas will be clogged with trucks because the Government has done nothing to alleviate the problem. They are sitting on top of an infrastructure hub which could be used to move waste in an economical and environmental way.

“Today’s the Government have delivered a slap in the face to Londoners.” 

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