York Green Party

"Don't wait on HS2 for rail improvements"

29 October 2014

The Green Party's prospective candidate for York Central, Jonathan Tyler, has welcomed the HS2 Ltd report on railways in the north of England but has said he believes the approach could do so much better for rail passengers.

"Rebalancing Britain; from HS2 towards a national transport strategy" was released on Monday by the chairman of HS2 Ltd, David Higgins, in Leeds on Monday. Mr Tyler welcomed the report's recognition of the importance of improving the rail network in the north.

The Green Party believes the huge sums of money being poured into HS2 would be better spent and cause less environmental damage if used for immediate works to bring our whole rail network up to 21st century standards.

Mr Tyler said "Calling this announcement 'Towards a national transport strategy' shows just how far away we are from having one. These proposals have come forward as a political sop to the North when actually the new lines cannot be completed until the 2030s and what we need are improvements now.

"Current Government thinking for the Northern and Trans-Pennine rail franchises is all about cuts in services and staffing and higher fares, including proposals for driver only trains - with no conductor - on some routes. Grand talk about high speed lines across the north cuts no ice when local commuters have to pack themselves into trains without enough carriages and are threatened with services without even a conductor."

The Green Party is supporting the current campaign by the RMT union to oppose plans for driver-only trains on the Northern and Trans-Pennine routes. Such a move would compromise safety and the resilience of services. See https://www.rmt.org.uk/campaigns/rail/northern-and-transpennine-express-rail-franchises/ for more on the RMT campaign.

"Rail travellers across the North need improvements over the next few years, not technological fantasies that are twenty years away. Much could be done with the existing network, given vision and a fraction of the cash that is going into HS2."



Jonathan Tyler has been active in the Green Party for many years. Professionally, he has long experience of railway planning and specialises in the design of integrated timetables.

The Green Party is the only major party calling for railways to be brought back into public control in order to provide a nationally integrated, cheaper and effective 21st century railway service for all passengers.

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