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News release: High Speed Rail (HS2) route announced – Friends of the Earth reaction.

news release

Commenting on the details of phase two of the HS2 high-speed rail network, unveiled today (Monday 28 January) by the Government, Friends of the Earth Senior Campaigner Jane Thomas said:

“Friends of the Earth is keen to see new investment in rail infrastructure, but for HS2 to bring environmental benefits it needs to be part of a comprehensive national transport strategy that cuts carbon and tackles climate change.

“Instead, a lack of joined-up thinking sees it being planned at the same time as new roads and runways, making a mockery of the Coalition’s green claims.

“The top priority for Ministers right now should be improving our existing overcrowded rail network and making trains a more attractive and affordable travel option.”

ENDS

Contact: Marie Reynolds, Friends of the Earth press office – 020 7566 1649

Notes to Editors.

* Friends of the Earth believes that policies must be put in place to shift people from cars and planes to rail: whether or not HS2 goes ahead, we need a much more ambitious strategy to cut emissions from transport in the short-term through travel behaviour change. Major infrastructure proposals such as HS2 need to be ‘future-proofed’ through testing against different scenarios, to help identify the best solutions for furthering sustainable development. The Government should prioritise locating HS2 stations close to city centres rather than ‘out of town’, and provide high quality public transport and walking and cycling links to help local commuters.

* For more than 40 years we’ve seen that the wellbeing of people and planet go hand in hand – and it’s been the inspiration for our campaigns. Together with thousands of people like you we’ve secured safer food and water, defended wildlife and natural habitats, championed the move to clean energy and acted to keep our climate stable. Be a Friend of the Earth – see things differently. For further information visit www.foe.co.uk

See also: Transport Committee inquiry: The Strategic Case for High Speed Rail. Consultation response from Friends of the Earth

Briefing: High Speed Rail. Friends of the Earth’s views. October 2011.

 

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