High Speed 2 critics take case to Labour conference

Camden councillors and HS2 campaigners in Liverpool

Published: September 29, 2011

LABOUR members from Camden attending the party conference in Liverpool this week pressed the shadow front bench to take a strong line over plans for a high-speed rail link to Birmingham.

Deputy group leader Councillor Sue Vincent has also had a private meeting with Transport Minister Philip Hammond back in London.

Councillors from all four parties locally are worried about the impact of the HS2 project – a £30billion scheme which critics say will lead to demolition and disruption in the south of the borough.

Cllr Vincent said: “Should the government ignore the financial implications for the country and the concerns of local people and push ahead with these ill-conceived plans, we’ll work hard to ensure that impacts are minimised and that we get the best deal possible for the borough.”

In a further development, the Camden-based anti-high speed rail link group met the chief executive of the company the government has established to build the line from Euston to Birmingham.

The Pan-Camden HS2 Alliance presented Alison Munroe with a detailed alternative plan for a terminus at Old Oak Common, in Park Royal, instead of  Euston.

The Alliance’s Peter Jones said: “Whether the scheme goes ahead is a political decision to be taken by the government, and the chief executive wasn’t giving anything away.

“They listened to our argument, but gave us  no indication of how they would react. Euston is still firmly on the table.”


The Shadow Cabinet Did Take a Strong Line

Crucially at the conference the Labour Front Bench did take a stand on High-Speed Rail. Maria Eagle support the whole Y-shaped network so this article is a little late.

The Labour Party supports High-Speed Rail because it will benefit the whole country and the North. It's about time these Nimbys realise that all three parties support it, the majority of the public support it and industry supports it.

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