Mark Leftly: High Speed 2 is being too slow to argue its case

Mark Leftly
Friday 07 June 2013 00:43

Outlook Sticking with trainspotting, a quick note on High Speed 2. The Independent titles have spent a long time closely examining this hugely controversial proposal that would revolutionise the rail network.

We have been particularly hot on issues regarding the fragility of what is already a staggeringly high £32.7bn budget and the possible impact on the countryside. This has pleased the many campaigners against HS2, though I should point out that I am largely convinced by the project's eventual economic benefits.

What has been remarkable is how well organised the campaigners have become.

While the team behind HS2 struggles to communicate how much this extra rail capacity is needed, the campaigners will be hosting at least 600 protesters in Staffordshire this month training them in how to see off the plans.

Sessions include "how to communicate with the press", "supporting farmers and landowners", and "social media for beginners". They've even got an online shop, which raises funds through the sale of hoodies, blouses, and flags. The campaign is clearly winning the argument.

HS2 Ltd must start fighting back with a more articulate message to defend what should be one of Britain's greatest ever feats of engineering.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in