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Yes to HS2, but not at the expense of existing rail network

10 January 2012
Responding to the Government approval of the £17 billion HS2 scheme, Campaign for Better Transport's chief executive, Stephen Joseph, said:

“We’re pleased to see the Government investing in rail, rather than roads and aviation, and acting on some of the local environmental concerns surrounding High Speed 2. However, the Government needs to guarantee that it won’t simply suck money out of our existing network. HS2 must link to improved and affordable services on existing lines rather than just offering a shiny and speedy way to get from London to Birmingham for those able to afford the price.

"The process for deciding on the London–Birmingham part of HS2 has been too narrow and people feel left out. In consulting on the lines north of Birmingham, the Government needs to involve people earlier with greater discussion of alternative options, including ways rail investment can support low carbon growth in the communities served, and also how any new lines will integrate with existing networks and improve local as well as long-distance transport.

Notes to Editors

1. Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).