HS2 referendum proposed by MP

Bucks Free Press: Christopher Chope MP Christopher Chope MP

A REFERENDUM on HS2 could be held next year after a bill was put forward by an MP.

Christchurch MP Christopher Chope submitted one of the 37 Private Members Bills for consideration in the current Parliamentary session, which leads up to next year's General Election.

Only 11 bills will be read and debated by MPs before May's election, meaning there is a less than one-in-three chance Mr Chope's motion will be discussed in Parliament.

Mr Chope's suggested bill was "to make provision for a national referendum on whether the proposed construction of the HS2 railway should be supported financially by the UK taxpayer".

Chesham and Amersham MP Cheryl Gillan was among six members to support the bill.

Tellingly however three of the other MPs to support the motion represent constituencies not affected by the route of the line.

Supporter James Gray represents North Wiltshire, Peter Bone is MP for Wellingborough and Andrew Turner is the Isle of Wight's member.

Penny Gaines, chairman of the Stop HS2 campaign group, said: "It is only right that the people expected to pay for HS2 have the chance to say that they don't want to."

Comments (3)

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10:40am Thu 17 Jul 14

jayeatman says...

Referenda are a political cop-out and in the run up to an election, just a cynical ploy. If you want rule by referendum - move to Switzerland. (If you can afford it and can wait at least 12 years!)
Referenda are a political cop-out and in the run up to an election, just a cynical ploy. If you want rule by referendum - move to Switzerland. (If you can afford it and can wait at least 12 years!) jayeatman
  • Score: 0

11:30pm Thu 17 Jul 14

RowanIW says...

I reckon we need a vote on whether to build HS2 at all. The funding is important, but what's more important is to stop a scheme that would destroy beautiful landscapes, wildlife habitats, and people's homes, and for no good reason.

As for the comment that some of the MPs backing the proposal are 'not affected' by HS2 - no, we're all affected. We're all citizens of our country and we're all responsible for protecting it.

And if HS2 were built we'd all suffer a huge opportunity cost. Almost £1k per British citizen would have been spent on something hugely destructive that we don't need, when instead we could have spent that money on things we do need and that would benefit far more people.

How about better transport links elsewhere in the country, especially where people don't have any railway or bus service (unlike London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds!)?

How about restoring some of the Marples - Beeching railway cuts, for example?
I reckon we need a vote on whether to build HS2 at all. The funding is important, but what's more important is to stop a scheme that would destroy beautiful landscapes, wildlife habitats, and people's homes, and for no good reason. As for the comment that some of the MPs backing the proposal are 'not affected' by HS2 - no, we're all affected. We're all citizens of our country and we're all responsible for protecting it. And if HS2 were built we'd all suffer a huge opportunity cost. Almost £1k per British citizen would have been spent on something hugely destructive that we don't need, when instead we could have spent that money on things we do need and that would benefit far more people. How about better transport links elsewhere in the country, especially where people don't have any railway or bus service (unlike London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds!)? How about restoring some of the Marples - Beeching railway cuts, for example? RowanIW
  • Score: 3

11:36pm Thu 17 Jul 14

RowanIW says...

By the way, I live part of each week on the Isle of Wight, so I've met Andrew Turner. I don't vote Tory* but he's a hardworking MP and he's campaigned for better ferry services for many years. If we had a tiny fraction of the HS2 money our ferries could be far cheaper and better - just one example of opportunity cost

* And no that doesn't mean I vote for UKIP - the Greens are opposing HS2 as well, and are on firmer ground on such issues!
By the way, I live part of each week on the Isle of Wight, so I've met Andrew Turner. I don't vote Tory* but he's a hardworking MP and he's campaigned for better ferry services for many years. If we had a tiny fraction of the HS2 money our ferries could be far cheaper and better - just one example of opportunity cost * And no that doesn't mean I vote for UKIP - the Greens are opposing HS2 as well, and are on firmer ground on such issues! RowanIW
  • Score: 3

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