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Press Release: Pro-HS2 Green group announces website and plan to challenge Party position

Greens4HS2, a collection of members of the Green Party who support the controversial HS2 rail project, have today launched a new campaign website to challenge their party’s position on the scheme. The website, hs2.green, details the group’s positions and how they see HS2 as a core part of a low-carbon future for British transport.

Councillor Tim Hodgson said, “the Green Party’s policy remains unclear on HS2 – we have contradictory statements that just don’t add up[1]. The last time we looked at this question was ten years ago, so it’s really important we examine the facts and data again to make sure our position is correct.

“We’re out of step with our sister parties in Scotland and Europe, and we’re not listening to the rail experts who are telling us this project is essential if we’re going to help people get out of their cars and into public transport.”

Town Planner Adam Turner said, “The Climate Crisis needs to be tackled as quickly as possible, but this Government is currently planning to build 4,000 miles of new roads[2]; so it’s more important than ever that the Green Party is following the evidence and listening to the experts on the big issues of the day. The problem is that there are so many myths around HS2 – why it’s needed, how much it really costs, how long before it’s carbon-neutral, what the environmental impact is – and unfortunately my party has been taken in by them.”

Melanie Horrocks, the party’s candidate for Greater Manchester Mayor in 2021, said, “I’m concerned our party seems to have been misled by the flawed assumptions and motivated reasoning behind the anti-HS2 campaign from vested interests like the IEA and TPA. The reality is that HS2 and rail more widely is an integral part of a net-zero carbon future – almost a third of all our carbon emissions comes from travel, and the vast majority of that is road use. 

“We know that the Covid pandemic isn’t going to meaningfully change people’s travel patterns in the long term. Too many places in Greater Manchester and across the north are blighted with woeful rail services due to a congested network, and piecemeal improvements can only ever achieve so much. More capacity is needed to enable people to leave their cars at home for local journeys, and HS2 helps unlock that capacity.”

Councillor Dr Rosemary Sexton, the runner-up in last year’s Green Party leadership election, said, “When I stood for the leadership of the Green Party in 2020 I was often asked about my position on HS2, and I say now what I said then – if there’s a better way to enable the potential for modal shift at scale, throughout the country, then I’m happy to listen to it in detail.

”But no-one’s brought that to the table yet – a lot of what I hear us talking about is a wish list of half-formed ideas that haven’t seen expert input, which just undermines our claim to be a serious political force.”

–Ends–

Notes for Editors:

  1. Green Party policy reference TR244 (2006): “…The Green Party supports the principle of a new north-south high speed line which would reduce the number of short-haul flights within the UK” vs Policy Statement from 2011 Conference: “The Green Party does not support the current (2011) high speed rail proposals known as HS2 but will review this policy if and when evidence emerges that HSR is embedded within an overall policy context that can deliver reductions in the demand for transport, energy use, land take and CO2 emissions.”
  2. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/road-investment-strategy-2-ris2-2020-to-2025

Notable supporters include:

  • Councillor Dr Rosemary Sexton (2020 GPEW Leadership candidate)
  • Councillor Tim Hodgson (former Deputy Leader of Solihull Council)
  • Melanie Horrocks (candidate for Mayor of Greater Manchester)
  • Adam Turner (Chair, Northwest Wales Green Party and candidate for Senedd Cymru/Welsh Parliament)
  • Matt Stratford (Chair, Greenwich and Bexley Green Party)
  • Martin Farley (Election Campaigns Manager, Brighton & Hove Green Party)
  • Councillor David O’Keefe (St. Helens Borough Council)
  • Paris Hayes (member of Young Greens, climate campaigner, and council candidate in Bolton)

Contact: All enquiries to be made only via hello@hs2.green – individual members are not available for comment other than through this contact address.