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Fewer than one in four people support HS2

Almost twice as many voting-age Brits oppose construction of High Speed 2 as support it, according to a poll.

The survey, carried out by research specialists ComRes for campaign group Stop HS2, showed that 22% of adults were in favour of the rapid rail link from London to the North.

This compared to 42% who were against the scheme, planned to cost £50bn including rolling stock.

Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats have all thrown their weight behind HS2 ahead of next month’s election – although UKIP opposes it.

Laws to allow construction of the controversial line are working their way through Parliament, and procurement has begun for packages of work on it.

But Stop HS2 campaign manager Joe Rukin said: “It is amazing that politicians from the main parties think HS2 is a vote winner, when every poll has made it clear that the public have not been bought by the spin about HS2.

“The fact the politicians fly in the face of public opinion by pushing HS2 forward is just another demonstration of how out of touch they are. With more austerity promised by most of those standing in the election, how can they possibly think people want HS2?

“The whole concept does not compute with voters, and there are surely votes to be won by those parties saying they will cancel HS2, and many of them in crucial swing seats.”

Just 1% of the 2,049 adults surveyed said HS2 should be the next government’s top spending priority. More than half chose the NHS.

The line would initially link London and Birmingham, with extensions to Leeds and Manchester to follow.

Readers' comments (3)

  • Dear Editor:

    Please explain how the "42% who were against the scheme" quoted in the article, equates with "More than three in four people ..." in your headline.

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  • Perhaps the politicians are acting in what they believe to be the best interests of the nation in the medium to long term. Surely our politicians shouldn't just turn with the tide of public opinion, but make decisions based on an ideology and reasoned, evidence-based judgment. Are they out of touch, or doing what we employ them to do; make the hard decisions?

    P.S. I can't work out if I'm in favour or not, but it will keep us all pretty busy...

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  • Sadly it remains a typical UK project with little vision or obvious benefit to those along the route or at the track ends. With additional local and freight tracks and an understanding that it will operate past the time of cheap oil. This is when we have to stop burning petrol and diesel because of Global Warming; the logic of its construction as the future backbone of the UK transport system might garner support. All it does now is reflect our political leadership, visionless and un-appealing.

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