11 March 2010: The Government has failed to prove its high speed rail plan would be green.
The plan suggests that the impact of the new line on carbon emissions will be 'broadly neutral', plus or minus 0.3% of current emissions from transport. Spending billions of pounds on a project that is simply carbon neutral is not good enough.
High speed rail could take away money, time and attention from improving the everyday transport that really matters to people. And if this is the price we pay to allow rich people to travel faster and commute further, it will be a disaster.
High speed rail must only be developed as part of a serious strategy to get people out of planes and cars and onto trains. The discussion has just started today - we'll be working to ensure the plan passes our tests before it gets the stamp of approval.