The fact that our political elite are determined to spend £50 billion plus of taxpayers money on speeding up a rail journey rather than healthcare provision and the elderly shows how disconnected they are from reality. Which ordinary person on the street would prioritise a faster rail link over curing cancer? It is mind boggling what could be achieved with such a mammoth sum of money, HS2 is ‘ivory tower’ politics at its most prolific.
Apart from the mammoth financial burden of HS2 there is a lesser known ecological price. Over a hundred of Britain’s most prominent wildlife habitats and countless ancient woodlands will be adversely impacted by HS2. Hundreds of acres of green belt land will be lost and more than a thousand prime buildings demolished. Including s 12th century Grade 2 listed church in Derbyshire and a Roman temple in Nottinghamshire which will be concreted over.
The coalition will relentlessly carry on with the project irrespective of the economic and environmental repercussions. It is ironic that a government which prides itself on green policy is permitting the concreting of our exceptional countryside. In fact, the government and the entire political establishment have utterly ignored warnings from experts like the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England. The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust poignantly described the project as “a disaster for the environment”.
You cannot justify pulling apart the rich biodiversity of ancient woodlands simply by planting some trees elsewhere. Never in British history has there ever been such a ruthless attack on our countryside. They are putting endless housing on our green spaces, launching HS2 and littering the countryside with wind farms.
The countryside is integral to the British way of life. HS2 underlines the fact that the political classes are now ever increasingly willing to oppose the will of local communities. The agendas of government bureaucrats are taking precedence over the choices of people having to live with the consequences. The gulf between the political classes and the people is now the widest its been in our post war history.