Press Release

RELEASE - IMMEDIATE

TUESDAY APRIL 21, 2015

LAST-MINUTE CANDIDATE STANDS TO DEFEAT HS2

In a late intervention in the 2015 General Election, shortly before nominations closed, Nicholas Ward is standing in London’s Westminster North constituency to bring a spotlight on HS2, the Government’s project to drive a high speed rail line from Euston through north and west London to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.

Nicholas Ward, 73, is retired from a career latterly as an independent director on the boards of various companies, public bodies and charities.

He has decided to stand because he opposes the £50+ billion project and is very concerned at the way the Government is driving it through Parliament.

‘With mind-defying arrogance, the Coalition Government has dismissed this latest report out of hand,’ he says, referring to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee which on March 25 reported that:

  •  ‘The Government has yet to make a convincing case for proceeding with the project,’ and
  •  'It is not at all clear that HS2 represents the best, most cost effective solution to the problems it is intended to solve’.

All three major parties, Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrats, are committed to the scheme and Ward feels that they have deliberately ignored HS2 during campaigning.

 ‘Parts of London and long swathes of the countryside will be torn apart,’ says Ward. ‘This is a vanity project, the real costs of which have not been discussed. The construction phase alone will disrupt lives for a generation. At a time when the deficit is a key component in party manifestos, HS2 is unnecessary and a scandalous waste of public funds.’

Ward appeared before the House of Commons Select Committee on HS2 on March 17 and said ‘HS2’s evidence, arguments and conduct in these proceedings fall far short of what one would expect from such in important public body.’  There is a video of his appearance on his campaign website, www.independent-against-hs2.co.uk.

Ward hopes that his efforts to secure a seat as an independent candidate will bring focus to a major policy that has been deliberately pushed under the carpet by the key Westminster parties.

‘There are serious concerns about HS2,’ says Ward.  ‘The case is fundamentally flawed but the lack of an effective challenge in the House of Commons means there is a democratic deficit on this issue.  I am standing to bring this outrageous situation to public knowledge in a marginal constituency that will be directly affected by HS2.  As the nation decides on the next Government, the subject of this railway line must be discussed by politicians, the media and the public.’

For further information, to interview Nicholas Ward and to bring the crucial subject of HS2 to popular notice in the remaining days of the 2015 General Election campaign,

visit www.independent-against-hs2.co.uk