HS2 would be a “disastrous and ill-thought-out intervention in UK transport, costing too much, and benefiting too few,” according to a civil engineer who launched a petition arguing against the £43bn project yesterday afternoon in the House of Commons.
Colin Elliff, from independent lobbying group High Speed UK, had wanted to present his case to the HS2 select committee but had to settle for a Commons committee room instead.
The former rail engineering consultant has argued that the current HS2 would make “the UK transport system permanently London-centric”.
He said his “objections are not against the principle of a high speed line from London to the West Midlands, but instead to the detail of the route… which then predetermines the configuration of further phases of UK high speed rail development.”
Elliff has already submitted responses to previous consultations on HS2. He argued for “the advantages of an alternative suite of high speed rail proposals (namely High Speed North, and latterly retitled High Speed UK), developed to radically different principles of full integration, and adherence to existing transport corridors.”
He added that “an alternative to HS2 was available, that: satisfied all the key requirements for HS2; was considerably cheaper to build; and performed considerably better than HS2 on a huge range of criteria, including connectivity, capacity and reduced transport CO2 emissions.”
Elliff said that no attempt has been made by the Government or their advisors at the Department for Transport or HS2 Ltd to address his concerns.