HS2: The Debate that Never Happened.

Three weeks before the Green Party Spring Conference in Birmingham, a few of who had been long-term opponents of HS2 did something we never thought we would have to, we formed Greens Against HS2. This was because, much to the surprise of many, there was a motion before Green Party Spring Conference to change the party policy from long-term opposition, to support for HS2.

The motion “Fully fund HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail” would have been a worry at the best of times, but this was coming on the back of the Wildlife Trusts producing yet another report condemning the deliberate attempts by HS2 Ltd to Greenwash the project. In February 2023, the Wildlife Trust reported that HS2 Ltd had amongst other things: used inconsistent modelling which overvalued  new habitat creation whilst undervaluing existing habitats to be destroyed; failed to count ponds, trees and hedgerows; and that the nature loss would be 7.9 times more than HS2 Ltd had accounted for on phase one of the project.

It also seemed odd that one of the reasons put forward as to why the Green Party should now change policy was because “HS2 is now a substantial way through construction”, seemingly suggesting that something we thought would be a bad thing before it happened stops being a bad thing, just because it is now happening! But while there has been a lot of destruction on Phase 1 of HS2, there hasn’t actually be so much construction besides some tunnels and bridges. The contracts for ‘railway systems’ – things like rails, electric gantries and signals haven’t even been awarded yet, and that’s on Phase 1. On most of Phase 2 – which is the majority of HS2, work hasn’t even started. The thing is that in the Green Party, a small number of people on the other side of the HS2 argument had been making all the running for the last three years with little or no pushback, and that’s how these things happen.

A horrible, devastating mess, but not exactly ready for trains any time soon.

So we had to start to organise. Over the last thirteen years since HS2 was first announced (the Saturday of the conference would actually be the 13th birthday of HS2) there have been many Greens in steadfast opposition to HS2, many others had joined the party because of the position on HS2, some had been involved in campaign organisations such as Stop HS2 and the XR offshoot HS2 Rebellion, and of course others have been long-standing supporters of NGOs like the Wildlife Trusts and Woodland Trust which have exposed the reality behind the HS2 corporate Greenwashing.

But no-one had ever tried to get all these people  to work as a group, many had grown weary of fighting HS2 and let’s face it, we were complacent, we never though that there would ever be a need for a group called  ‘Greens Against HS2’. Now had three weeks to try and stop this from happening, from a standing start!

So the message had to be got out, but thankfully there didn’t need to be a hard sell, as when people heard that there was a chance that the Green Party might support HS2, the messages of support and offer of proxy votes came flooding in in far greater number than we had anticipated. This exposed our biggest failing, we simply hadn’t anticipated the sheer amount of admin there would be! Late publication of the procedure for issuing proxy votes didn’t help one bit, but as everything by its nature was last minute we were massively swamped, but in a good way.

The thing which was the biggest surprise was how many messages came in from party members who said the support of HS2 would see them leaving the Green Party. You might expect that a councillor in a ward somewhere along the route of HS2 would have to consider their position if the party decided to support HS2, but it was more of a surprise to see that support of HS2 was stated to be a resigning matter for members from the Malvern Hills, Islington, Shropshire, Wiltshire, the Forest of Dean and others.

[Oh and sorry if your message hasn’t been published yet – we do intend to put them up on the website eventually, but after the first set was published, that task was buried at the bottom of the mountain of admin!]

Another problem was that we kept thinking of extra bits of work to do, such as the Emergency Motion which came about as a result of a ‘slurry pool’ appearing in Ruislip over an HS2 tunnelling site. This – rather conveniently for us – happened on the day after the agenda was published, meaning it could be an Emergency Motion. The important issue with this Emergency Motion on the Chiltern Aquifer wasn’t so much the slurry pool itself, more that its existence proved that HS2 ltd were using a chemical process they said they wouldn’t use, as they themselves said it would pollute the aquifer which supplies drinking water for London.

The first sign of a debate on HS2 came on the Wednesday before the conference in the workshop session. It was clear quite early on in the workshop that there was a majority against the motion, and as we only realised when we got to conference and number were read out for other workshops, with 74 attendees it was one of the best attended workshops. Besides the vote on the motion itself, there was a motion to ‘refer back’ – this is basically a vote neither for or against, but saying there is a problem with the motion itself which needs work. meaning it shouldn’t be debated but sent back for an edit and brought back at the next conference.

The argument put forward for referring back was that the motion was about HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, and that if the motion was defeated, this would mean that NPR could not be debated for another two years. For anyone who doesn’t know, the rule is that if any issue is debated at Green Party Conference, it cannot be debated again for two years. This is to make sure a contentious issue doesn’t take over conference after conference. The thing is, on the face of it, supporting NPR itself is problematic as there is actually no defined plan, no route, no budget and certainly no environmental impacts – effectively NPR is just a slogan at this point, an alluringly good sounding slogan, but a slogan nonetheless.  

The workshop vote to refer back won 56%-44%, whilst the motion to ‘Fully fund HS2 and NPR’ was defeated 37%-63%. Even though workshop votes are non-binding advisory votes, this was a good start for us.

So anyway, there had been a gargantuan task of getting the message out about conference, producing the open letter, the banners, the leaflets, the video, sorting out all the proxies, and all the admin that went all of that, and finally we were ready for conference.

The conference was mostly a joy to be at, there were some great policies passed and it seemed a thoroughly cordial affair between the sides, although there were a couple of heated debates between opponents on HS2 as you might expect. From our point of view there was just one big downside, that we, “the anti-HS2 banana fringe” were accused of “threatening people and being generally awful” almost as soon as we turned up by someone who wasn’t even there.

Now, we’ve had long discussions about whether we actually wanted to mention a tweet posted on the 11th of March and finally deleted (over a fortnight after this article was originally published) on the 29th of March 2023.

This sort of thing is just not the Green Party way, and there was a thought that drawing attention to this would in some way diminish our souls. The deciding factor was that this accusation doesn’t just sling mud at us, but we feel it brings the Green Party itself into disrepute. The accusation that Green Party Members were threatening other Green Party members at Green Party Conference and getting away with it without consequence, is a very serious one which reflects badly on the party. If such a thing had actually happened right at the start of the conference, you would expect it would be the only thing anyone there would be talking about, and you would also have expected people to have been expelled from the conference. None of those consequences happened, because there was no substance in the accusation whatsoever. It simply did not happen.

While original replies to that tweet doubled down on the whole threats thing, the author stil states that the reason he claimed that the ‘banana fringe’ was threatening people was because he wanted to “keep the HS2 discussions civil”. This is one of the may reasons why we have asked the Green Party if they can facilitate mediation between the sides.

Accusing the ‘banana fringe’ of making threats (which is now admitted to be based on hearsay) is ‘clearly emphasising the need for everyone to be civil. Apparently.

The debates about HS2 did not take place on the conference floor, as while on two occasions the motion E05 to ”Fund HS2 and NPR” was the next motion to be debated, on both of those occasions it was bumped.

The way the conference was structured was that: On Saturday Plenary 1 would be A & B motions with Plenary 2 being C & E motions; on Sunday Plenary 3 would be D motions with Plenary 2 being the remaining D & E motions. This meant that the HS2 motion being  E05 would be heard in the second session on Saturday or Sunday.

Although many people were saying that the conference would run out of time, the chances of HS2 being debated accelerated very early on as two of the other E-motions, on water quality in rivers and the coast and on banning dolphin hunts were fast-tracked without debate. This obviously made a lot of sense – it was always highly unlikely that someone was going to stand up at Green Party Conference and dare to say that hunting dolphins is a good thing!

At the start of the Saturday evening session there was an interjection – an attempt to suspend standing orders to hear an Emergency Motion on Gary Lineker, with reference to his Twitter row over asylum policy which had seen his suspension by the BBC, causing a mass walkout of football presenters in solidarity. The Standing Orders for the conference state that Emergency Motions should ‘normally’ be heard in the last 15 minutes of the day at the discretion of the chair, and maybe as importantly was that at this point in time Standing Orders Committee had not had time to review the Lineker motion and see if it was in order. Top of the list of legitimate Emergency Motions at this point in time was the one about the Chiltern Aquifer, and we had been waiting, as we were meant to for the last 15 minutes. Later on, there was another interjection about the Lineker motion, and it seemed obvious that the chair would accept it being debated at the end of session, by which time it had one more supporter than the Chiltern Aquifer. With 20 minutes left of the session, and E05 the next ordinary motion to be discussed, conference moved onto Gary Lineker.

Because of this, during the Saturday evening something which should have been rather obvious struck us: just two days earlier there had been a massive announcement from Government, that the cost of HS2 had gone up yet again, more delays had been added – also yet again, and there had been a super element of spin as after over a decade of saying delays add costs, in this case they said an added delay would actually save money! This clearly should be another Emergency Motion! We were amazed we hadn’t seen this before. Sometimes, you’re just too close to see the obvious.

An Emergency Motion to renew party opposition to HS2 following the implosion of the project earlier in the week was written and submitted late on Saturday night. By the start of the second session on Sunday, it had passed the number of co-proposers of both the Chiltern Aquifer EM, and more importantly had more  people behind it than the Lineker motion, which had already been discussed. After a minor amendment was added during that session, it was ruled in order by Standing Orders Committee, so everything had been done right and it was good to go.

Davey Cartoon from The Telegraph, the day before conference.

But there was another thing. Remember all the way back to that workshop? Remember the there had been a narrow advisory victory for referring the motion back? Well, we’d been so wrapped up in this that we hadn’t really thought about that until the break before the final session and we found out there were “stacks of proxies ready to refer back”.

So we had to make a decision, and what passed for a caucus was called to discuss this on the ground. The great thing about the conference venue is that all we had to do was stand in a group talking near reception, and eventually most of the rest of us would happen to walk past and join in!

After a long discussion which involved almost everyone changing their minds at least once, the conclusion was that the pro HS2 lobby were running scared, we had the numbers. They’d had three years, we’d had three weeks, and we had the numbers! We didn’t want to have to do this all over again in October, a win today would put the debate about HS2 to bed for two years. If a motion to refer back came forward, we would be bold, we would vote against it and play for all the marbles.

Now the final Plenary was due to be D & E motions, and it had been made clear in that respect that it would alternate, going D, E, D, E etc. However, there was one B motion hanging over from Plenary 1, and it had been decided to go back to that. Even with that, HS2 would be the third motion, after B03 and D06, but no, even with that, Standing Orders Committee had apparently decided to pull D06 – which was their own motion  – meaning HS2 was due on second, and there were two Emergency Motions on HS2 in poll position for the end of session too. We were told there might be a debate on some Late Motions (‘late’ is late, while ‘emergency’ is super late!), but that would be right at the end, and there was only one motion to get through! OK, B03 was about peace and defence and contained contentious parts and amendments like NATO as well as other things, but it was just one motion. We had to get through that, right?


The thing is, while B03 was contentious, it wasn’t an hour and three-quarters contentious! Despite that, it went on to take up almost the entirety of that final session, a complete anomaly compared with the way every other session of conference had zoomed through the order paper. It seemed that an unusually large amount of procedural motions were cropping up, and there were far more speeches which were going well over the allocated time, all of which ate up precious time. To use an analogy Gary Lineker would approve of, it was just like when a football team is desperate not to concede a goal at the end of a match, and they try to hold the ball in the opposition corner in order to run down the clock……

It became very clear that E05 was going to fall off the end of the agenda. But that didn’t necessarily matter, because we were heading into that final 15 minutes when Emergency Motions could be heard. though of course this would be at the discretion of the chair. So when B03 finally passed, there was a very quick hand up for a procedural motion from our side, to suspend standing orders to allow the Emergency Motion to renew opposition to HS2 to be debated. It was made clear to the chair that this motion had more support than the Lineker motion which had been debated, but the chair chose to spend the last few minutes debating Late Motions instead. To be fair, the chances of getting through any of the HS2 motions in 15 minutes were slim, but it would not have been the first time a Green Party conference session had gone over time!

And there we were, despite there being three motions on HS2, and people saying before the conference that it was important to now have the debate, there would be no debate on HS2.

So where we are now, is we have to do the whole thing all over again at the main conference in Brighton on the 6th to 8th of October. We just have to do it better next time, but next time we will have longer than three weeks to prepare………

Why HS2 isn’t Green

Last week, the Greens 4 HS2 group produced a short video, trying to make the case for HS2. We watched it, and as you might imagine, there wasn’t a lot in it which we agreed with! As such, we’ve produced our own video as a response. It runs for half an hour because this is a complicated subject, and too many of the arguments being made for HS2 are jingoistic soundbites which need unpacking with facts. So we hope we have balanced the need for detailed facts on complex issues, with the need for the whole thing to be a digestible size, as the video covers issues such as: carbon, capacity, aviation, roads, habitats, wildlife, some of the realities of just how terribly run this project has been over the last thirteen years, and of course the vested-interest lobbying that exists around HS2.

To keep it down to half an hour, we haven’t really mentioned the ever-spiralling costs, the desperate need for secrecy, the woeful attitude to people effected, or the total inability of Government to keep the project under control!

A full list of references will appear in the description of the video on/by Friday.

References, in order

Barn Owl Trust article: https://www.barnowltrust.org.uk/hs2-an-extremely-expensive-way-of-killing-barn-owls/   

RSPB on Barn Owls and HS2: https://community.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/b/rspb-england/posts/barn-owls-nests-and-hs2

Wildlife Trusts 2023 report,

Press Statement: https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/news/new-report-hs2-got-it-wrong

Full Report (pdf): https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2023-02/23JAN_HS2_Double_Jeopardy_FINAL01.02.23.pdf

Video, “When is a tree not a tree?”:

2020 report from the Wildlife Trusts, Woodland Trust, RSPB & National Trust,

Press Statement: https://www.nwt.org.uk/news/hs2-new-report-reveals-exorbitant-cost-nature

Full Report (pdf): https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/2020-01/What%27s%20the%20damage%20-%20Full%20Report%20digital2_0.pdf

High Speed Rail Industry Leaders Group, membership page: https://www.rail-leaders.com/membership/

All drone footage and more can be viewed on Michael Warners Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@mikekwarner/videos

Article on 4000+3000 parking spaces at HS2 BHX stations: https://www.business-live.co.uk/economic-development/plans-new-hs2-station-car-24458898

4000 space HS2 car park at Manchester Airport: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1139851/F2_Manchester_Airport_High_Speed_Station_v2.pdf

Birmingham Airport boss on HS2 helping expansion: https://www.expressandstar.com/news/business/2017/05/23/airport-could-build-new-terminal-beside-hs2-birmingham-interchange-station/

Manchester Airport boss on HS2 helping expansion: https://www.breakingtravelnews.com/news/article/manchester-airport-seeks-to-maximise-hs2-benefits-to-passengers/

Heathrow HS2 spur ‘ruled out’: http://www.infrastructure-intelligence.com/article/mar-2015/mcloughlin-rules-out-dedicated-spur-heathrow-airport-hs2

Oakervee Review various,

Oakervee privately dined with consultants during HS2 review: https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/hs2/oakervee-privately-dined-with-consultants-during-hs2-review-18-05-2021/  

HS2 Oakervee review criticised by own deputy chair: https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/hs2-oakervee-review-criticised-deputy-chair-05-11-2019/   

HS2 costs could hit £106bn, leaked review warns: https://www.cityam.com/hs2-costs-could-hit-106bn-leaked-review-warns/  

UK government refutes misconduct claims over HS2: https://www.railfreight.com/business/2021/08/06/uk-government-refutes-misconduct-claims-over-hs2/

Dissenting Report, by Tony Berkeley: https://acrobat.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn%3Aaaid%3Ascds%3AUS%3A8e9c8f87-2650-4aa0-8e0f-0eaf6e709640

Tony Berkeley resignation tweet: https://twitter.com/tonyberkeley1/status/1194521975735160832

Speech by Lord Berkeley, in which he said HS2 Ltd has paid off Whistle-blowers and is ‘Rampant with fraud’: https://stophs2.org/news/18511-lord-berkeley-hs2-paid-whistleblowers-rampant-fraud

HS2 Carbon Papers:

Phase 1: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/672382/E10_-_Carbon_v1.7.pdf  

Phase 2a: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/960807/E27_Carbon_v1.3.pdf

Phase 2b: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1088312/E27_Carbon_v2.pdf

Margaret Hodge “I’m nobody’s fool” video

Full playlist of PAC session above: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoUp2WaodqI&list=PL788EE5C4D923AF70

Amber-Red Rating. Various from Stop HS2,

Despite Cameron’s ‘Transparency Agenda’, HS2 ‘Amber-Red’ report to be kept secret for two years: https://stophs2.org/news/5420-camerons-transparency-agenda-hs2-amber-red-report-secret-years

MPA Annual Report claims amber-red status represents ‘significant progress’: https://stophs2.org/news/11033-mpa-annual-report-claims-amber-red-status-represents-significant-progress   

HS2 to stay on amber-red alert says MPA chief, as release of reports goes to appeal: https://stophs2.org/news/9207-hs2-stay-amber-red-alert-mpa-chief-release-reports-appeal  

Use of ‘War Veto’ to block publication of HS2 reports is illegal, say Stop HS2: https://stophs2.org/news/10240-war-veto-block-publication-hs2-reports-illegal-stop-hs2

Information Commissioner rules for release of HS2 reports. Supreme Court destroys Govt veto: https://stophs2.org/news/13346-information-commissioner-rules-release-hs2-reports-prince-charles-ruling-destroys-government-veto

HS2 still in danger of failing says official Government report: https://stophs2.org/news/13824-hs2-danger-failing-official-government-report  

HS2 reports are now so secret, even HS2 Ltd aren’t shown them: https://stophs2.org/news/14325-hs2-reports-secret-hs2-arent-shown-them  

New call for HS2 Review, as it is Confirmed Previous Ones Stay Secret: https://stophs2.org/news/16979-call-hs2-review-confirmed-previous-secret  

Cabinet Office Report Shows HS2 Still “In Doubt With Major Risks”: https://stophs2.org/news/17155-17155

Secret HS2 Documents Question if Phase 2 is Affordable: https://stophs2.org/news/17293-secret-hs2-documents-question-phase-2-affordable

Well of course HS2 has been rated ‘amber-red’, it’s always bloody ‘amber-red’!: https://stophs2.org/news/17586-hs2-rated-amber-red-its-bloody-amber-red

HS2 Extend Their Cloak of Secrecy, Demanding the Signing of 276 Gagging Orders: https://stophs2.org/news/18501-hs2-extend-cloak-secrecy-demanding-signing-276-gagging-orders

National Audit Office report on HS2, January 2020 https://stophs2.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/NAO-report-HS2-a-progresss-update.pdf

Slurry Pool, see Emergency Motion:

Chris Stokes evidence to House of Lords:

Supplement to HS2 Strategic Case, Technical Annex: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/480647/annex-demand-and-capacity-pressures.pdf

Companies House Search Result:


Arcadis and NPP (in paragraph above one with ‘Addleshaw Goddard; in bold): https://www.thebusinessdesk.com/northwest/news/2007319-people-move-hurst-intellectual-property-office-northern-powerhouse-partnership-statiflo-graphite-resourcing

Northern Powerhouse Partnership Membership:

Northern Powerhouse Rail, the most detailed explanation you’ll find: https://transportforthenorth.com/northern-powerhouse-rail/

Sign our open letter

At Green Party Conference on 11-12th March 2023 in Birmingham, a motion which if passed would see the Green Party support HS2 is to be discussed. We strongly oppose this motion and below is the text of an open letter we are asking Green Party members to sign and support.

Dear Green Party of England and Wales,

We the undersigned are extremely worried about something happening in the Green Party.  We understand democracy is a core value to the Party, and realise of course, that every now and then an idea will surface that does not chime with our own.  We also understand however that for democracy to be viable, truth, transparency and solid information are vital.

What worries us is the motion E05 submitted to your Spring Conference 2023, the published synopsis of which reads:

“This motion calls for HS2 to be funded and completed in full, including the entire Eastern leg and an underground through station at Manchester Piccadilly. This motion also calls for the full potential of HS2 to be (released) by building in full Northern Powerhouse Rail which will use HS2 infrastructure…..”

The Green Party of England and Wales do make provision in their transport policy for the principle of high speed rail, but there is no provision for the disaster that is HS2. HS2 is a very specific project. The methods and processes of HS2 fly in the face of Green Party ethos. The HS2 project is a corporate entity born of greed for profit, and the construction industry has lobbied very hard to reap financial rewards from building the most expensive railway in the world. HS2 is based on old outdated carbon intensive technology, unfit for a sustainable public transport system. It has been designed to increase aviation, facilitating airport expansion and airports have lobbied for HS2 to be built on this basis, with the CEO of Manchester Airport saying an HS2 hub station would be “Vital, helping us expand our network of international routes”, an objective which is clearly incompatible with Green Party policy. A vote to ‘Build HS2 in full’ as the synopsis of the motion before conference suggests, would be a vote to reinstate the link to Heathrow Airport which was dropped in 2015. HS2 is already a massive source of carbon emissions and is removing carbon sinks. We believe, indeed we know, the case for HS2 is fundamentally dishonest, anti democratic, and frighteningly destructive.

Opponents of HS2 have long since said that the project, on the assessments prepared by HS2 Ltd themselves, shows the project would not be carbon neutral for 120 years. We are concerned that proponents of HS2 are claiming this is not true, when this fact has been gleaned directly from the statutory carbon papers HS2 Ltd has submitted to parliament. The most recent of these documents, the HS2 phase 2b carbon paper, which was updated in July 2022 and was drawn up in line with BS EN 15978 & 15804 and PAS 2080, shows a net increase of 3,029,000 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide equivalent, due to this part of the scheme after 120 years of operation. At the same time as submitting these documents to parliament, HS2 Ltd spin their project to the public as the ‘Zero Carbon Railway’.

The Green Party of England and Wales is the only party in the UK Parliament that does not support HS2. There are several reasons for this, not least being the Green Party’s stance on corporate lobbying. It is very obvious that the other parties support HS2 in ignorance of their membership and the public at large. It has been evident from the outset that heavy lobbying from industry has had a huge influence on those parties, meaning the opinions of people and the out of control costs have been ignored. The same is now happening with George Osborne’s lobbying group Northern Powerhouse Partnership driving the Northern Powerhouse Rail project which used to be called HS3, with political momentum building up behind this project, despite there being no firm plans, budget or environmental assessments. GPEW’s stance on democracy stands to hold such forces at bay, and this ethical and moral stance on HS2 has contributed towards electoral success in council elections in places which have never elected Greens before. Both Conservative and Labour Parties seem very keen to ignore the documented fact that Parliament was misled over the costs of HS2 on several occasions before the first HS2 Bill passed in 2017. That same dishonesty over finances continues unabated.

Over ten years many claims have been made to support HS2 which have been proven to be wrong. Most notable of these is the budget which started at £33bn and was going to go from London to Birmingham, with a link to Heathrow Airport, before going on to Leeds (via Sheffield) and Manchester. Despite many cutbacks over the years, the overall estimate is around the £100bn mark. In the last two years the four main HS2 contractors have asked for more time or more money around 3000 times

It is now ludicrously being claimed that somehow building HS2 would be like building three railways because of the capacity it releases. This whole premise is based on the concept that every fast train currently on the West Coast Mainline could be replaced with two slower local services, an idea which lacks any basis in fact and has seemingly been invented, like many of the current arguments being made for HS2, by a single consultant who seems determined to change Green Party policy. Firstly, the current fast trains on the West Coast Mainline could not all be removed, because they stop at places other than London, Birmingham, Manchester and Crewe, and in terms of standard speeds, the reality is that HS2 Ltd themselves report that reducing train speeds on the south section of the West Coast Mainline to 110mph might release capacity for two trains per hour, but due to constraints around Euston station, there would only be capacity for one extra train per hour, but somehow this has been translated into ‘three new railways’. 

HS2 has been driven through Parliament by a series of Hybrid Bills, themselves machinations debasing democracy, reducing rights of objectors and landowners, removing environmental protections, and operating tick-box consultation processes that have left many bitter, angry and disillusioned. In operation, HS2 have issued compulsory purchase orders callously, meanly and with no understanding among other things of the ancestral nature to tending the land and the transmission of wisdom that entails, with many land and business owners still waiting for payment years after possession has been taken. Even the Parliamentary Ombudsman has reported that HS2 has been “Dishonest, misleading and inconsistent.” and that they have been guilty of repeated maladministration This does not in any way feel “green”.  It is very evident too that HS2 does not cope with protest. As a nation we point our finger at other nations that police protests with private armies of “lawless thugs” who threaten, attack, and dispossess those uncovering the truth, and yes, here in this country we imprison activists not for criminal behaviour, but for telling the truth loud enough for others to hear, as it is now illegal to protest in and around land possessed by HS2 Ltd, even land which is not fenced off.

What is even more obvious to all however, is the diabolical destruction of whole ecosystems that has occurred across Phase 1 and is now starting along Phase 2a. HS2 passed through Parliament on the back of a supposedly comprehensive Environmental Statement which allowed Parliament to grant the project deemed planning permission. However, as those who have observed works first hand testify, the paucity of that Statement became increasingly obvious. Over 42% of Phase 1 was never surveyed or incompletely surveyed, as detailed in a recent Wildlife Trusts report

This Wildlife Trusts report states that up to 8 times more damage to wildlife and habitats has occurred along Phase 1 of HS2 than the Environmental Statement allows for. We believe this makes the deemed planning permission invalid, at least in principle, as the provisions of this quasi-legal statement which supported HS2 through parliament have been ignored. This implies that all the ancient woodland felled (more woodland felled than at any time since WWI), all the trees disconnected from once adjoining habitats, all the hedgerows uprooted and destroyed (250 in the Chilterns alone), all the wetlands and grasslands, all the lakes and rivers, and all the nature reserves and SSSIs which have been damaged, destroyed and diminished has happened outside the conditions of the planning permission. What Green Party, what environmental group could possibly support this?

And it doesn’t stop there. The Wildlife Trusts report goes on to describe the woefully inadequate compensation being put in place as being 4 times less effective than the Environmental Statement claims. And that doesn’t take account of the poor quality work installing the compensation. In the first year of operation HS2 planted 60,000 saplings, up to 90% of which died within months. It does not stop there, as even laymen can see their compensation works inspire little confidence.That oft repeated mantra that HS2 should result in no net loss to biodiversity is very hollow indeed.

Even in the last week of February, HS2 have felled the last 200+yr old plane trees around Euston. The location of the most poisoned air in the UK has lost its trees to prepare for a section of HS2, the viability of which still eludes engineers after many attempts and many budget overruns.

The Woodland Trust, Wildlife Trusts and Friends of the Earth have all comprehensively condemned HS2’s environmental strategy and tell of an HS2 mired in dishonesty, deceit, and complacency toward ecology, environment and the climate emergency. There is no place for this here for the Green Party.

HS2 poses a very real and present threat to the water supply of London, nearly a quarter of which is sourced from the natural aquifer under the Colne Valley to the west of the city. Not only did HS2 Ltd ‘lose’ a large amount of highly-polluting bentonite in the Chlltern Aquifer and the project has been connected to raw sewage going into the River Colne, but as Jenny Jones will testify, Chromium VI, the Erin Brokovich chemical is among a cocktail of contaminants that are now leaching into that aquifer through a reckless attitude to safety.

We ask the Party to consider the present situation of HS2. There has been a constant stream of negative reports across all media detailing the ever increasing antipathy felt across all political and social divides toward HS2. Within Parliament there is a growing clamour to see that HS2 face yet another review. HS2 is weaker and more broken than ever. Opposing HS2 has been one of many policies where the Green Party can proudly say “We were right all along”, so why would the Party now want to jump onto a sinking ship? To support HS2 at this point would provide the ultimate greenwashing for one of the most environmentally damaging projects this century.

Finally, we beseech that the Party understand that supporting HS2 would be an utter betrayal of hundreds of eco-warriors, many of them in the Green Party, who have put their lives in danger and sacrificed their freedom in order to bring to the attention of the public, press and Parliament the atrocities being committed with their money for HS2.  We also beseech the Party understand the hollowing out of support which the Party will face if all those thousands who see the Green Party as the only party truly committed to environmental and social responsibility, turn to support a corporate figment of growth economics in place of researched, honest appraisal of where we are, where we need to be, and how to get there.  

Please, continue to give us hope. Please dismiss this motion. Do not give credence to glossy corporate greed.

Please fil in the form below to sign the letter. Signatures will be added below sporadically by a human. Last update 7am, 11th March. For more information, see our leaflet to be distributed at Green Party Conference.


Mark KeirChiltern Green Party
Carolyne CulverWest Berkshire Green Party
James KennedyWarwick District Green Party
Pam LunnKenilworth Green Party
Christina O’NeillGreen Party Member – Herefordshire
Wendy EdwardsWarwick District Green Party
Salem BennettBristol Green Party
Aldo MussiSandwell Green Party
Harry HayfieldCeredigion Green Party
Juliet CarterGreen Party Member
Val SaundersStroud Green Party
Brent PolandErewash Green Party (Parliamentary candidate)
Jamie RussellGreen Party Member (Shrewsbury)
Helen PalmerGreen Party member
Keiron BrownChiltern (Chesham) GP
Mr N J SavageMalvern Hills Green Party
Alison LaylandWeston Rhyn Parish Council (North Shropshire)
shelley saundersCamden Green Party
Paul HerbertNorth Shropshire Green Party
Jane LivermoreWest Berkshire green party
Marilyn GauntGreen Party member Ludlow
Marian HoffmanCroydon Green Party
Yvonne HaywardGreen Party
Isobel RussellBath & NE Somerset Green Party
Mel ModenWilts (Chippenham) Green Party
Mark ReddingWest Midlands Green Party Co-ordinator
John FrancisGreen Party Member
Sonja FrancisMid Devon Green Party
Julie CallowGreen Party
Nicola WatsonLincoln Green Party
Isa Luqman DarbySandwell Green Party
David ChamberlainGreen Party Worcester
Jenny JonesLambeth Green Party
John WhiteleggHerefordshire Green Party
Helena RichardsThame and Chinnor Green Party
Michael LandonEaling Green Party
Danny EllisGreen Party Bristol
Susan TibblesOxfordshire Green Party
Hazel DaweOxford city and Oxfordshire Green Party
Fiona GurrWest Berkshire Green Party
John CoyneLiverpool Green Party
David MarshWest Berkshire Green Party
Peter GowerWest Berkshire Green Party
Cathy GaulterGreen Party
Steve DaweOxfordshire Green Party
Matt LoweWest Berkshire Green Party
Philip DaviesTrafford GP
Neil SalterGreen Party
Fiona MawsonGreen Party Parish and Cherwell District Councillor
Jill TaylorWest Berkshire greens
Edward CawleyWest Berkshire Greens
Steve MastersWest Berkshire Green Party
Rosemary-Kate HughesManchester Greens
Fred GoughAmber Valley Green Party
Pat MortonBroxtowe Green Party
Tina Louise RotheryBlackpool & Fylde Green Party
Teresa NeedhamBroxtowe Green Party
Cameron WilkesMember of the GPEW
Si FrostBroxtowe Green Party
Deborah SmithChichester & Arun Green Party
Linda NewberyNorth Oxfordshire Green Party
Kathryn HodgsonWest Berkshire Green Party
David O’ConnorGreen Party
Joanna CollinsHigh Peak Green Party.
Alison WilliamsOxford City Green party
Steve HaleSouth Shropshire Green Party
Peter Thomas BriggsAylesbury Green Party
Julia WakelamWest Suffolk Green Party
Isabel ThurstonArun District Council
Bryony MorrisSandwell Green Party
Jenny LangleyMember of Green Party, XR Cambridge
Derek LangleyMember of Green Party, XR Cambridge
Linda WardNorth Oxfordshire Green Party, Green Party
Celia CoramHackney Green Party
Jane RobertsOxfordshire Green Party
Tina LeonardOxford Green Party
Glyn EvansWest Berkshire Green Party
Jeremy D ParkerSandwell Green Party
Carolyn DoddGreen Party/XR
Martin BlakeSouth Lincolnshire Green Party
Georgina WrightStockport, Member of Wildlife and Habitats PWG
Alexander McConnellLocal Green Party
Margaret OkoleBirmingham Green Party
Joan GrechMid Sussex, Crawley & Horsham Green Party
Barry GreenanGreen Party (London Ealing branch)
Elissa GordonLuton Green Party
Benjamin HarropPendle Green Party
Jane BurrellGreen Party (West Berkshire)
Nigel HennerleyCheshire East Green Party committee member
Sophia Hale-SuttonNorwich Green Party
Geoff HillGreen Party
Michael MoranGreen Party Member – Newbury
Councillor Natalie McVeyMalvern Hills Green Party
Joe RukinWarwick District Green Party
Eddie FrancisLincoln GP
Suzanne SavageMalvern Hills Green Party member
Cllr Daniel LaycockHuntingdonshire Green Party
Matthew ParkinsonCheshire East Green Party
Nicole HaydockNorth East Wales Green Party
Rosemary WhiteEast Cheshire Green Party and XR Macclesfield
David ClarkDarlington Green Party
Joanne AshwoodGreen Party, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace
Heather TailbyIslington Green Party
Lisa MillerCongleton Green Party
Rod HartCambridgeshire GP
Mary FranklinOxfordshire Green Party
Julia LagoutteBristol Green Party
Mark HarrisGreen Party
Tom CaseyStockton & Hartlepool Green Party
Phil MasonGreen Party Member
John WellerGreen Party
Sheelagh HandyDerbyshire Dales GP
Carol BroomNorth Oxfordshire Green Party.
Melanie PenycateGreen Party Member
Paul FosterGP Member & SINE (Stop Incineration North East)
Marc FranceHuntingdon / Cambs Green Party
Jane McCarthyGreen Party Aylesbury
Mandy VereLiverpool Green Party
Chris HallamHigh Peak Green Party
Jeremy LudlowGreen Party
Dave RankinNorth West Leicestershire Green Party
Colin ClarkWest Oxon Green Party
Laura MellstromDerbyshire Dales Green Party
Sian BerryClitheroe Green Party
Rebecca KnapperGreen party Member St Helens
Jago TassanoChiltern Green Party (Young Green)
Melanie EnglishCheshire East Green Party
Catherine BuntingChiltern Green Party and Great Missenden Parish Cllr
Diane HarrisonLichfield and Burntwood Green Party
Mr Richard HayesWarwickshire Green Party
Nicholas CoxEast Herts
Justine FulfordChiltern Green Party
Dr Alison Gordon-CreedGreen Party/Natural England
Cllr Ed PlowdenBristol Green Party
Clare BonetreeHerefordshire Green Party
Emily McIvorExeter Green Party
Pauline SmithGreen Party Member
Andrew John MelvilleChesire East Green Party
Renate AspdenTrafford Green Party
Rachel HortonChiltern greens and taplow parish council
David IlsleyEast Hants Green Party
Hilary WendtDeputy Coordinator, West Midlands Green Party and Coordinator, South Shropshire Green Party
Sarah GreenHillingdon Green Party
Sara LeverWarwick District Green Party
Gaby sollyGreen Party member.
Claire BarkerGreen Party Member Swansea
marie crowleyErewash Green Party
Ann MillsErewash Green Party
Charlie LewinGreen Party
Zoe HatchChiltern Green Party
Robert NicholasDoncaster Green Party
Sue CooperGreen Party
Sarah CollierBroxtowe Green Party
Mrs Carol BroomRetired – member of Green party and XR
James BoothCheshire East
Catherine Rennie-NashKendal Green Party
Amanda IremongerCheshire East Green Party
Damaris VigarGreen Party member
Adam BrearleyGreen Party Member
Jane CarruthersBabergh Green Party
John AvisonHuddersfield Green Party
Leslie TateDacorum Green Party (Chair)
Lesley WhybrowShepway Green Party
Robert PalgraveBiofuelwatch, Green Party
Clare PalgraveGreen Party
Pam ArcherDudley Green Party; member of the GPEW since 1981
Alex BullLewisham East Green Party
Jane HutchingsGreen Party member
Kris WelchSouth Shropshire
John WatsonKenilworth Green Party
Tony HullHereford & South Herefordshire
Rob BarryWarwick District Green Party
Valerie WilkinsonGreen Party
Caroline CattermoleLancaster Green party
Claire WillsherWest Berks Green Party
Peter BriggsAylesbury Green Party
Martin CoulePlymouth Green Party
Vicki Stinchcombehereford green party
Abigail WoodmanWaltham Forest and Redbridge
Ellie BrownGreen Party
Kate MammolottiDarlington Green Party
Clare WaltersHuddersfield green party
Alan JohnsonBolton Green Party
Caroline RoafGreen Party member
Bob WeedonOxfordshire Green Party
Mary-Louise ThompsonMalvern Hills Green Party
Gordon HousleyEast Mendip GP
Karen WildinLeicester Green Party
James Murray-WhiteCambridge Green Party
Judy GreenOxford Green Party
Susan Mary HamptonDacorum Green Party
Persephone AndersonGreen Party Member – Brighton
Lynn HaanenStroud District Green Party
Anne PattersonCoventry Green Party
Thom PizzeyAshford Green Party
Valerie JarvisSouth West Green Party.
Bill JarvisSW Wiltshire Green Party; Wiltshire Climate Alliance; MICE
Yvonne ForseyGreen Party, RSPB, Buglife, National Trust, Sustainable Devizes, Wiltshire Wildlife,
Julia Elizabeth MiddletonNorth Oxfordshire Green Party
Jane FarleyChiltern Green Party. Speen Environmental Action Group
Pippa AustinGreen Party
Lisa MillerGreen Party
Trish WhithamWest Berkshire Green Party
Tina BurnsCheshire East Greens
Elise BenjaminOxford
Jed GoodeNorthwest Greens
Fergal McEnteeWandsworth GP
Kenneth GraingerCoventry Green Party
Ken AllenSouth Herefordshire Greens
Ed PorteousBirmingham Green Party
Walter HoustonCheshire East Green Party
Ann AllenGreen Party member
Tom MerryKirklees GP
Leo SmithGreen Party (Camden)
Jackie DaleForest of Dean Green Party
Cllr Rachel Smith-LyteSuffolk Coastal Green Party
Chris McFarlingForest of Dean Green Party
Nigel HileySuffolk Coastal Green Party
Sally NobleSuffolk Coastal Green Party
Sid PhelpsForest of Dean Green Party
Rebekah HoylandForest of Dean Green Party
Tim RickardForest of Dean Green Party, Dymock Forest Rural Action
Nicky PackerForest of Dean Green Party
Jackie FraserForest of Dean Green District Councillor
Jan ClarkForest of Dean GP
Mrs Ann BednallSouth Shropshire Green Party
David Alexander HowardChurch Stretton, South Shropshire
Jenny HaynesNorth Lincolnshire Green Party
Andrew BlakieHillingdon Green Party
Dede LissForest of Dean
Timothy EgginsSouth Somerset Green Party
Maureen McKeownMember of the Green Party.
Cate CodyTewkesbury Green Party
Alison BruceForest of Dean Green Party
John CherrySouth Shropshire Green Party
Laura JonesCheshire East Green Party ; Macclesfield XR
Richard WiseDarlington Green Party
Christine WestHillingdon Green Party
Alexander McRaeEnfield Green Party
Diana BrowneKenilworth Green Party
Steve JacksonTonbridge and Malling Green Party
Helen BanksCornwall Green Party
Gary BurnettSouth Staffordshire Green Party
Adriana SpalinkyThe Green Party England and Wales
Richard SmallSouth Shropshire GP
Trevor RoachForest of Dean Green Party
Tom FittonLondon Green Party
Philip BoothGreen Party member and former District councillor, Stroud District Green Party
Gordon HOUSLEYEast Mendip
Janey WallChesham & Amersham Greens
Madeleine BroderickGreen Party (Cheshire West and Chester) XR Merseyside
Jay GinnCroydon and sutton green party
Tina BurnsCheshire East Green Party
Chris MillmanBristol Green Party
Margaret GreenCDNW Greens
Sylvia GodfreyPendle Green Party
Neil JacquesNorth Lincolnshire Green Party
Tom FittonBromley Green Party
Gillian DavisSouth Shropshire Green Party
Larry SandersOxfordshire Green Party
Craig SimmonsOxford Green Party
Bob GledhillBroxbourne Green Party
Emily TaylorGreen Party member Birmingham
Kyn AizlewoodWarwick Green Party
Stephen HeskethSefton Green Party
Jacqueline StirlingN Lincs Greens
S.J.BrooksLifelong green party supporter
Sarah WhitePlymouth Green Party
Jeff TrevethanGreen Party Member
jay ginncroydon and sutton
Jean GlasbergCambridge Green Party
Leon Maurice-JonesLambeth Green Party
Ruth FabricantBromley Green Party
Mel ModenChippenham, Devizes & North Wiltshire Green Party
Ann DrysdaleWales Green Party
Jonathan ElmerCounty Durham Green Party -National Spokesperson for Nature
Linda MacCallum StewartBrighton and Hove Green Party
Alex McRaeEnfield Green Party
Chris barracloughNorth Devon Green Party
Tom LinesBrighton & Hove GP
Linda SeniorSouth Shropshire Greens
Susan chapmanSouth East Dorset Green party
Dr Michelle BarnesHillingdon
Paul ConnorSandwell Green party
Chris McFarlingForest of Dean Green Party
Laura JonesCheshire East Green Party ; Macclesfield XR
Eileen PeckS E Essex GP
Richard CottonGreen Party Member (Cheshire East)
Jo PurvisGuildford and Waverley Green Party
Adriana NewsumGreen Party Member
Cllr Gina DowdngNorth Lancashire Green Party
Jess WalkerGreen Party Devon
Neil K ByeGreen Party


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