Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting MG NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Nationalise our railways, says leader of the Greens
GREEN Party leader Natalie Bennett visited Worcestershire yesterday – and used her visit to make a call for the railways to be re-nationalised.
The politician came to Malvern to spend the day touring a range of businesses in the town before hosting a question-and-answer session last night.
She used an open forum, held at Malvern Cube, to unveil a major policy by suggesting all railways should come back under public ownership.
The move was designed to drum up support for the Greens in Worcestershire, especially as last May they secured a breakthrough by winning two county council seats.
Ms Bennett said she believes “around 75 per cent” of the public agree that re-nationalisation of the railways would be a good idea.
She also used the session to say the Greens oppose the coalition’s flagship HS2 project – the proposed superfast rail link from Birmingham to London – on environmental grounds.
Ms Bennett told the audience a better option would be to make a series of smaller investments into slower speed railway lines to improve links between Britain’s regions. “HS2 is clearly not going to be built, which will be the right decision, given that it would only focus economic development even further on London and be an extraordinarily poor use of funds,” she said.
“What we need to do is invest in the many ‘low speed one’ rail lines around the country, and particularly lines that run east-west, linking regions together and helping people get cheaply and reliably between work, home, education and leisure.
“And above all we need to be investing in ‘active’ transport, walking and cycling, creating facilities to make this safe and comfortable, with additional benefits for community health and wellbeing.”
During her stay in Malvern she toured the Fold Care Farm, a not-for-profit social enterprise which allows people with a variety of needs grow fresh produce.
She then visited the Overdrive Project, a vocational training centre in Spring Lane that prepares people for careers in the automotive industry.
Following that, she toured Malvern Cycles CIC, a social enterprise set up to promote cycling and recycling in Worcester Road.
After the visit she said: “The majority of jobs are created by small firms – and these firms provide a stable business base compared to big chains and corporations.”
The Government is sticking to its pledge to crack on with HS2 – saying the economic benefits far outweigh the estimated £50 billion costs.
The first phase is due to open by 2017, and extensions north towards Manchester and Leeds complete by 2033.
Comments are closed on this article.