'Boris' Big Blunder' - Stop HS2 speaks out over confirmation of high speed railway through Banburyshire

The biggest anti-HS2 campaign group, Stop HS2, has described the decision to carry on with HS2 'Boris' Big Blunder'.

Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 2:52 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 2:55 pm
Joe Rukin of HS2 at an earlier protest

The group says HS2 Ltd is 'not fit to run a model railway' and that the combination of criticisms of the project made scrapping the plan as the only obvious reason.

Their comments come after the Prime Minister confirmed the high speed rail network in the House of Commons earlier today. The Banbury Guardian reported MP Victoria Prentis's reaction as 'disappointed'.

Stop HS2 Campaign Manager Joe Rukin said: “Giving HS2 the go-ahead on the back of the Oakervee Review, a review which was written by the people it was meant to be investigating, is saying none of the evidence matters, none of the facts matter, we’re going to do it for the sake of doing it, this is a decision from the bumbling, bungling Boris we feared we would get. HS2 will be Boris’ Big Blunder, it’s a shame he can’t see that.”

“Since HS2 was first announced, the links to Heathrow and HS1 have been cut but the cost has still managed to treble; it’s now admitted that 18 trains per hour at the proposed speeds can’t be done, which is an admission that every argument for HS2, whether that be the business case, the service pattern and all the illusory promises of freed-up capacity have been a lie right from the start; the 250mph design speed makes HS2 straight and wide so it threatens almost 700 habitat sites and over 100 ancient woodlands, and the concrete needed means it’ll only add to the climate crisis, making a mockery of everything Boris Johnson said last week at COP 26; the Governments own watchdog, the Infrastructure and Projects Authority reported twice last year that the HS2 programme was unachievable and we’re still waiting for the outcome of the Serious Fraud Office investigation into allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption.”

Penny Gaines, chair of Stop HS2, described HS2 Ltd as 'not fit to run a model railway'.

"HS2 Ltd is... not fit to run a model railway let alone run a railway building company with a budget of many billions. Boris Johnson has called them profligate and even supporters of HS2 acknowledge the management is dire," she said.

"However, changing management might make sense if HS2 made sense, but it doesn't. The Oakervee review said that the speed of the trains was wrong, the number of trains an hour was wrong even the underlying model of the network was wrong.

"The Infrastructure and Projects Authority have said it is un-achievable and the only certain thing about the proposed £106 billion budget is that HS2 won't keep to it. If it was any one of those factors, then it might be reasonable to rethink HS2 but with all of them combined, the only sensible option was to cancel HS2."