HS2 – the environmental sums don’t add up

24 February 2014

The London Assembly Environment Committee says the hidden costs of HS2 have been underestimated, due to the damage it would cause in London and the need to adequately compensate affected residents. It points out that the health impacts of pollution and loss of green space need to be taken into account, for the cost-benefit analysis to be accurate.

Murad Qureshi AM, Chair of the Environment Committee says;

“We’ve heard plenty about the supposed benefits of HS2 – but what about the human and environmental costs? What of the destruction of homes, city parks, ancient woodland and wildlife habitat? What about the 10 years of noise, pollution and disruption imposed on local people? Central London already has some of the worst air pollution in Europe – have the extra deaths and health effects of this added pollution not been considered at all?” “These costs need to be re-evaluated for the sums to add up to a realistic price tag for the construction of HS2. The government can’t keep ignoring Londoners’ concerns. People have clearly told MP’s that they are unhappy with the rough-shod way this bill is being pushed through.” “HS2 should get out the calculator and redo their sums. Parliament needs to consider the overall cost to the health and wellbeing of Londoners when examining the environmental impact of HS2”.

The Committee has released its response to the Environment Statement[1] – relating to the High Speed Two Hybrid Bill.

Notes to editors

1. HS2 Hybrid Bill – London Assembly Response (attached)

2. HS2 Draft Environment Statement – London Assembly Response

3. Murad Qureshi AM, Chair of the Environment Committee, is available for interview. See contact details below.

4. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Alison Bell on 020 7983 4228. For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.