Page last updated at 11:57 GMT, Tuesday, 12 July 2011 12:57 UK

Transport Committee: High speed rail

People protesting against the government's proposed high speed rail line are not "luddites or nimbys", opponents of the project told the Transport Committee on 12 July 2011.

Witnesses also said the scheme offered poor value for money, and that the cash would be better invested in other transport projects.

The committee is investigating plans for the proposed high speed rail line from London to Birmingham, which are currently under consultation.

When asked by committee chair Louise Ellman if some of those speaking out against the proposals could be seen as luddites or nimbys, Jerry Marshall, who chairs Action Groups Against High Speed Two (AGAHST), said that was not a fair description.

"The scheme offers very poor value for money," he told MPs.

Bruce Weston, director of HS2 Action Alliance, said initial opposition by some of those campaigning against high speed was driven by the fact that the route was close to homes.

But he added: "Interest is now driven by the fact that the project is a waste of money."

Lord Wolfson, who is chief executive of clothing company Next but was appearing as an individual opposed to the project, said: "My opposition has nothing to do with ludditism or nimbyism.

"It's not in the national interest to spend a huge amount of money on a scheme that is not, in any way, the best investment on capital."

RAC Foundation trustee David Bayliss told the committee it was "foolhardy" to "commit huge amounts of money to try to solve problems on a tiny part of the market".

Transport committee membership


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