We will regret rail project in 10 years
IN March 2003, parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of invading Iraq, with 412 votes in favour and 149 against. Some twelve years later, now we know Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction, I suggest the voting ratio would have been very different if MPs had been given more accurate information.
Obviously there is no comparison between the invasion of a foreign country and the construction of a high-speed railway except that when MPs voted in favour of HS2 at the bill’s second reading in April – by an even bigger majority, of 452 to 41 – I suggest that most of those who voted in favour were not fully aware of the facts or the possible consequences.
A significant number of those who voted against HS2 have constituencies in areas which will be blighted by it. These MPs have been accused of ‘NIMBY-ism’ – defending their own back yards – but I would suggest that many of them voted the way they did not out of self-interest, but because they had taken the trouble to look into the scheme in depth and realised what a destructive, poorly thoughtout and wasteful project it is – with the burden falling on the hapless, hard-working taxpayer. Letters to the Editor, Buckinghamshire Advertiser, Trinity Mirror Southern, c/o Trinity Mirror Colour Print, St Albans Road, Watford, Herts WD24 7RG
I listened closely to the Commons debate in April and concluded that most of those who spoke in favour of HS2 knew considerably less about the project than the minority who voted against. Ten, 15 or 20 years from now I fear that, as with the Iraq invasion, we will conclude that the decision to build it was a total disaster, but that we simply weren’t aware of the detail or the implications at the time.
I suggest that we put the whole project on hold, spend no more money on development and organise a referendum in which all the known facts would be clearly and openly stated, with more honesty this time. Perhaps then this £50-80 billion catastrophe-inwaiting can be avoided.
JULIAN WILLIAMS Cheapside Lane
administered and my condition monitored.
The crew delivered me to A&E where they made sure that I was properly handed over to the hospital’s medical staff before leaving, despite the fact that their shift had ended some time earlier.
They were wonderful.