HS2: Democracy in action – not!

55,000 responded to the HS2 consultation and disagreed with everything in it 

Guardian columnist Zoe Williams writes

“It always amazes me that the more closely you examine any local plan – from a Sainsbury’s Local on a London street to a £33bn rail project – the clearer it is that the locals have no say in anything at all. HS2 was put out to consultation: 55,000 people responded, and they disagreed with everything in it. They disagreed with the necessity, the route, the principles and specifications, the appraisal of sustainability, the assistance to those whose “properties would lose a significant amount of value”. Sentences so convoluted with jargon a passer-by couldn’t even unpick them, they still disagreed with, by huge margins.” 

Public meetings were organised by town and villages along the proposed route. At a packed public meeting at Wendover Memorial Hall [below] so many people attended that a sound system had to be set up outside the hall to relay the presentations to crowds standing outside.

 

Why is the majority view brushed aside?  

An insight came in an email message from a transport consultant who is challenging the proposal. He writes: 

“On Sunday I travelled on the Chiltern line. There is a non stop service from Warwick Parkway to London Marylebone in 70 minutes. In most of the world that would be considered high speed.” 

“At the recent Birmingham Transport Summit I had the impression of a total power vacuum, in which businessmen are clamouring for ever-more-expensive solutions that their companies can get a slice of in contracts, irrespective of actual public benefit or sustainability. £1,000 million for a high speed rail station at Curzon Street!! plus new Metro lines, expanded airport … I felt they had been driven insane by greed.

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Posted on May 14, 2012, in Corporate political nexus, Democracy undermined, Parliamentary failure, Planning, Vested interests and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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