Mike Shone in the Express and Star
The Stafford constituency general election candidate Mike Shone has been featured in the Express and Star talking about opposition to HS2, and the proposal to nationalise the railways – “HS2 fails to get the Green Vote”.
In recent campaigning, the Green Party’s general election candidate in Stafford has been focussing on rail transport. Former Mayor of Stafford in 2006-7, Mike Shone, visited residents in Hopton last week to show his support for their opposition to the planned HS2 route, which they say will devastate their village.
“We are totally opposed to HS2.”, said Mike, “It would concentrate resources, money and people even more on London and not benefit the people of Stafford one bit. Instead, we’ll see it slicing through the countryside, with all sorts of negative environmental and social impacts.”
The high speed rail line known as HS2 is one issue where Greens differ from Labour, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, who all have an official policy backing it.
“The Green Party is not against high speed rail in principle, but this route is ill conceived and the proposed scheme does not offer value for money.”
Several properties that would have to be demolished to make way for HS2 have already been bought up and Hopton would also lose one of its main routes into the village, making journeys into Stafford longer.
“We would rather see the billions earmarked for HS2 invested in improving the existing rail network .and greatly improved bus services so that, unlike now, would get people to and from work comfortably, affordably and at suitable times.”
Having moved to Stafford 44 years ago to work at Stafford College as a sociology lecturer, Mike Shone has been a familiar face in local politics ever since. Having served as a Labour Councillor for 24 years before finding a new political home as a Green some 7 years ago, Mike said “I joined the Green Party because of its commitment to equality, democracy and sustainability.”
Last week Mike met with commuters at Stafford railway station, explaining his party’s commitment to renationalise the rail service.
“At the moment £4bn of taxpayer’s money is given to private rail companies every year. I believe that public transport should be run in the interests of passengers, not to make a quick profit for shareholders. It’s clear that passengers are not currently getting a fair ride. We would introduce an immediate cut in fares of 10% to give passengers a much-needed financial break.”