Coventry City Council has voted unanimously to oppose HS2, becoming the first council in the country not directly affected by the location of the line to take a position against the plans.
Councillors said HS2 would see investment taken away from other transport projects. They also warned that HS2 could see the filling in of the green belt, not just the one between Coventry and Kenilworth, but the ‘Meriden Gap’, separating Coventry and Birmingham.
STOPHS2 campaign director Joe Rukin said the council’s decvision “discredits transport secretary Philip Hammond’s assertion that HS2 will benefit the regions and address the North-South divide. The money the city needs to improve public transport … will not be forthcoming because HS2 will hog the rail infrastructure budget in the future.”
Coventry City councillor Anthony Blundell said: “HS2 would relegate Coventry to little more than a backwater.
“We would end up with all of the disadvantages and none of benefits. I believe that a better solution is upgrading the current rail network.”
Coventry City Council leader John Mutton said: “I was recently asked and refused to sign a letter to the Secretary of State supporting HS2. Business leaders agree that Coventry and Warwickshire will receive little benefit and HS2 will have a detrimental effect of the regeneration of City Centre.”