LETTER: HS2 plan will take a destructive path

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Erewash Green Party would like to respond to the views expressed by Erewash MP, Maggie Throup in the Advertiser recently. 
Erewash Green Party opposes the plans for bringing HS2 through Long Eaton but also opposes the HS2 ‘vanity’ project as a whole throughout the country. 
We are not just supporting the campaign started by the local community group Stop HS2 Erewash to stop HS2 in Erewash, but the Green Party nationally is campaigning against HS2 everywhere. 
The Green Party is the only party that is in full and total opposition to HS2. The Green Party supports high speed rail in principle because it should improve Britain’s transport system and reduce road and air traffic and help to cut carbon emissions.
But in our view the HS2 project will do too much damage to local communities and to the environment and is just a high-cost vanity project. 
The enormous sums involved, that apparently can still be found even though we are supposed to be in a climate of austerity and not spending beyond our means as a country, could be better spent on improving transport for everybody, not just for wealthy business people who will be the only ones able to afford to actually use the HS2. 
The 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, and the Green Party is firmly behind a policy of re-nationalising the railways, taking them away from private operators which have, in our opinion, prioritised shareholders’ dividends over a properly-maintained network that should be well-run for the benefit of all. 
Erewash Greens are fully behind the local residents of Long Eaton who have got together and worked hard to raise awareness and spread the message about the disruption that HS2 will bring to Erewash, and who have now formed a really strong Stop HS2 Erewash community group. The participation of our MP in the local group Scrub The Hub that was set up to oppose HS2 going through the village of Breaston a few years ago, when she was then the prospective parliamentary candidate, cannot fail to be noted, and the group’s campaign was reported by the Advertiser, and yet, after these Breaston plans were eventually dropped, she now appears to be in favour of HS2 going through Long Eaton, part of her constituency in her role now as the town’s MP.
The Stop HS2 Erewash stall at the Long Eaton Canal Festival was inundated with local people signing the petition and picking up information. The letter that the group recently sent to all Erewash councillors and to the Erewash MP is fully backed and supported by the Erewash Green Party, and strongly takes apart all the arguments expressed by our MP in her Ilkeston Advertiser article.
Erewash Green Party will be supporting the Stop HS2 Erewash community group’s event coming up in September where group supporters will be showing the public the destructive path that HS2 will be taking right through Long Eaton. 
They will be leading the family-friendly walk to raise awareness of the potential route of HS2 through Long Eaton and everyone is welcome to the free event. 
It has asked people to come brightly dressed and help to raise awareness within the wider community of the impact that this white elephant project will have upon our local community. The Stop HS2 Erewash Route Walk is on Sunday September 18th, 12 midday to 4pm and the group has set up a Facebook event with details at this link https://www.facebook.com/events/1750676861866767/alph Herons Erewash Green Party Media Liaison Officer

Ralph Herons

Erewash Green Party media liaison officer