2 June 2020
Cambridge residents travelling to protest against HS2 wrote to Jeremy Caddick to express their disappointment that our MP, Daniel Zeichner, remains supportive of this destructive project. Here is Jeremy's open letter, sent to Daniel today, urging him to reconsider his position.
Dear Daniel Zeichner,
I am disappointed to learn of your continued support for the HS2 project. This project is a clear act of ecocide which will bulldoze huge areas of ancient woodland and destroy significant areas of wildlife habitat. In the midst of a climate emergency, we have a duty to protect nature from wanton destruction. Any decision that involves tearing down trees, concreting green spaces or destroying wildlife areas, must have both substantial benefits and no viable alternative.
In justifying your support for the project, you cite "extra capacity" as a critical factor. However, there are more cost effective and environmentally friendly solutions for improving the capacity of our national rail service. What the United Kingdom needs is an overhaul and modernisation of its entire rail system rather than a single, massively destructive, project like HS2. Local and regional transport infrastructure is a much greater priority than lavish projects like HS2.
The £100 billion (and growing) allocation for the HS2 project would be much better used to upgrade and electrify rail networks, reopen closed stations, reopen lines and provide new, cheaper bus transport. Projects, like reopening the Haverhill line or the Cambridge to Oxford line, need the funds and will have much smaller environmental impacts while bringing real economic benefits to local communities and provide much needed public transport improvements between existing local hubs.
I applaud your opposition to Cambridge-Oxford Expressway and draw parallels between the two projects. While the Expressway is a road building project, like HS2, it is an expensive vanity project with limited benefits that do not justify the huge financial costs or the environmental destruction.
I urge you to reconsider your position and to use your position within parliament and the Labour movement to oppose this ecocide. I urge you to support the Cambridge constituents who have risked arrest to peacefully protest against this awful project. I urge you to do the right thing for our planet.
Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Cambridge 2019