As part of the government consultation into a ‘Rail Plan for the Midlands and the North’, the Green Party has raised concerns about the need for HS2 and instead called for more investment in local travel.
In its submission to the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) ‘Rail Assessment Consultation for The North and Midlands’, the Green Party has stressed the importance of investing in improved regional connectivity within the Yorkshire and the Humber region before the arrival of HS2.
The Green Party has also stressed that environmental concerns need to feature much more strongly in the recommendations.
Martin Love, the leader of the Green Group on Bradford Council has said:
“Given the challenges we face in the wake of the Coronavirus Crisis, it is clear that HS2 is not an appropriate choice for reinvigorating the economy in Yorkshire – and it certainly won’t help us here in Bradford.
"Whatever benefits there are won’t even start to materialise until the 2030s and 2040s and who knows what our economy will look like then.
“Before then, we need to focus on delivering better regional transport. It’s absurd that in many cases it is quicker for people living in Bradford District to go into Leeds to get to places like Huddersfield or Wakefield.
“The focus can’t always be on trains. Bus companies are really going to be struggling in the post-Coronavirus world so we want to see more support for these services.”
In the submission, the Green Party has also stressed the importance of increasing capacity for rail freight. Switching more goods from road to rail is a priority and will significantly reduce carbon emissions.