HS2 protesters go to United Nations
PROTESTERS against HS2 have appeared in front of the United Nations to make their case against the project.
The HS2 Action Alliance presented to the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee at the United Nations in Geneva on Thursday, March 10, following the UK Supreme Court’s decision in January 2014 that the UK government had not acted unlawfully in bringing forward its plans for the controversial rail scheme.
HS2 Action Alliance, based in Amersham, presented its case on the basis that the government had failed to carry its duties under Article Seven of the Aarhus Convention, and had not looked enough at alternatives to HS2 before pressing ahead with it.
The convention states that plans and programmes from the government must be transparent and provide the necessary information to the public.
However, HS2 Action Alliance says this was not the case, as some options for the line were ruled out without public participation, and no information was given about the environmental effects of some of the options considered.
The UK government argued it had discharged its duties under Article Seven by carrying out its consultation in 2011 and that the consultation met these requirements.
The Aarhus committee will write to the UK government and the European Union in the coming weeks with some questions.
A statement from the HS2 Action Alliance said: “These communications demonstrate the weaknesses in the current frameworks for public participation in the UK and European Union.
“HS2 Action Alliance would like to thank its legal team and the generous individuals across the country who have generously contributed to enable this appearance to take place.”