Green Party leader to deliver keynote speech on transport at the Green Economics Institute

As the country begins to see a turning of the tide against the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail project, Natalie Bennett, Green Party leader, is today delivering a keynote speech on transport to an audience of economists and academics in Oxford. The speech will focus predominantly on HS2 and the lack of a cohesive government proposal for improving existing local transport links.

Natalie comments:

Green Party Conference 2011 carefully considered the HS2 proposal and came down firmly against it on the grounds that it will serve neither social nor environmental justice. That remains the case today.

The fact that HS2 has got this far, and so much has been wasted on developing a clearly uneconomic project, is a symptom of a broader problem – that this government has failed to develop a proper national, integrated transport policy plan for transport, to ask what kind of transport will we need in future, where, and how that can and should be provided within economic and environmental limits.

On top of the HS2 debacle, the government is now talking up a £28bn road-building spree – Action for Roads. It is another disaster waiting to happen. Many of these projects were abandoned as uneconomic in the Eighties, and given fuel costs and technological innovations, the need for them is decreasing, not increasing.

Green Party LogoThe taxpayers’ money being ploughed in to these ill-thought out, environmentally damaging and hugely expensive grand transport projects could be better allocated. Investment in cycling and walking is severely lacking; as is support for local and intra-regional rail and bus services.

"An integrated public transport system should be reliable, affordable, convenient and widely accessible. By investing in safe and spacious cycle lanes, pavements and pedestrian areas and in better local rail and bus networks, we can reduce air pollution and congestion, and make our cities, towns and villages more pleasant. "

Natalie Bennett will give her keynote speech on transport on Friday 19 July at the Green Economics Institute in Oxford.

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