Unlikely anti-HS2 lobbying alliance
Friends of the Earth and Taxpayers' Alliance are both trying the derail the scheme.
Last-ditch lobbying campaigns to derail HS2 are being mounted by two groups that do not usually see eye-to-eye on policy.
Friends of the Earth is calling on supporters to urge their MP not to “waste our money” on the project.
At the same time, the Taxpayers' Alliance has stepped up the fight against HS2 by publishing new research showing what would happen if it goes over budget.
HS2 Ltd uses Westbourne Communications for its own lobbying efforts.
MPs are expected to give the scheme the final seal of approval this week when it returns to the Commons from the Lords. The first phase of the railway is due to open in December 2026, with trains to travel at high speed between London and Birmingham.
FoE argues that “the economic, environmental and human costs are vast” and “the government has ignored expert opinions and stronger plans for too long”.
So far, 2,341 people have written to their MPs to argue against HS2 with the environmental group aiming to get 5,000 people involved.
"We think the money would be much better spent on a range of much smaller sustainable transport infrastructure projects to deliver real improvements to regular commuters and other train travellers over a far quicker timescale,” said FoE director Craig Bennett.
Meanwhile TPA has published new research which speculates that that the final cost could reach £90bn, rather than the projected price of £56bn.
TPC chief executive John O'Connell said: "All the evidence shows that big government projects are delivered way over budget and almost never to deadline, so to allocate tens of billions of taxpayers' money to this white elephant is a big mistake.”
Westbourne sources declined to comment but the Department for Transport said: "HS2 will become the backbone of our national rail network - creating more seats for passengers, supporting growth and regeneration and helping us build an economy that works for all.
"We are keeping a tough grip on costs and the project is on time and on budget at £55.7bn."