‘The Bri­tish public does not want HS2’

Latest poll by YouGov shows scale of op­po­si­tion

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Jack Abell jack.abell@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A NEW poll on HS2 has shown wide­spread op­po­si­tion to the pro­ject from across the UK.

The fig­ures, re­leased in a YouGov poll, show that 50 per cent of peo­ple are against the con­tro­ver­sial rail pro­ject, with 32 per cent in favour.

Peo­ple liv­ing in the north of the coun­try, who the gov­ern­ment had hoped would sup­port the pro­ject, gave it a thumbs down, with 53 per cent of those polled found to be against it, while in the south, 50 per cent were op­posed. There was also more op­po­si­tion than sup­port in Lon­don, the Mid­lands, Wales and Scot­land, while the poll also showed that sup­port­ers of ev­ery ma­jor po­lit­i­cal party are more against it than in favour.

The gov­ern­ment has con­ducted its own polling on HS2, but has not re­leased any re­sults since May 2013, say­ing that re­leas­ing the in­for­ma­tion is against the public in­ter­est be­cause it re­lates to pol­icy which is still be­ing de­vel­oped.

Anti-HS2 cam­paign­ers say that the YouGov re­sults demon­strate clearly that the Bri­tish public does not want the pro­ject, and that the gov­ern­ment should not press ahead with its plans.

Stop HS2 cam­paign man­ager Joe Rukin said: “Ev­ery time the public are asked if they want HS2, there is a re­sound­ing no, as it is clear the public have not been bought in by the spin about this pro­ject.

“Un­for­tu­nately, like the in­de­pen­dent an­nal­ists who have scru­ti­nised the case for HS2 and found it to be want­ing, it seems what the public think does not mat­ter to a gov­ern­ment wed­ded to their van­ity pro­ject.” He added: “It is telling that de­spite the gov­ern­ment try­ing to make out that HS2 would be a magic wand to heal the north south di­vide, it is more un­pop­u­lar in the north of Eng­land than any­where else in the coun­try.

“Pos­si­bly be­cause peo­ple there re­alise it is more im­por­tant to fix trains peo­ple rely on ev­ery day than to in­tro­duce a whizzy ser­vice to Lon­don for the busi­ness elite at an as­tro­nom­i­cal cost.”

What do you think? Email our letters page at buck­snews@trin­i­tysouth. co.uk.

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