The CPRE (Council for the Protection of Rural England came out very publicly and very loudly against the High Speed 2 proposal yesterday. This is a very significant “step up” in the campaign against High Speed 2. Like many similar organisations, the CPRE rarely take any stance which may be considered political.
We are convinced that this will start a snowball of support from other like minded, national organisations. Stop HS2 campaigners have been working hard with the CPRE since the 11 March announcement to ensure the facts about HS2 are raised and examined.
Ralph Smyth, Senior Transport Campaigner at CPRE, says: ”The plans currently on the table would give the UK the fastest rail line in the world but at huge cost to the tranquility and beauty of the countryside. It’s as if Ministers have gone out to buy a family car and come back with a Ferrari – it may impress the neighbours but it’s just not practical. The controversy these proposals are generating could derail the Government’s welcome vision to make rail the long distance travel mode of choice.”
See here for the whole press release.
The CPRE are a sensible bunch, they have no wish to inhibit progress but they do wish to protect our Rural English identity and culture. They are quite rightly not prepared to sacrifice our beautiful countryside on a whim. They have taken their time to fully examine the proposal and have recognised, as would anyone who does scrutinise HS2, that it is completely unacceptable in its present form.
Sir Paul Hayter kindly agreed to chair our national lobby day on 25th October in the interests of encouraging truly democratic debate on the subject. Sir Paul did a fabulous job and the resultant discord amongst MPs on the truth behind the facts on HS2 has significantly advanced the Stop HS2 cause. The press release today is a cherry on the cake of the strengthening national unity against this outrageously flawed proposal which is based on pure propaganda.
Please recognise that the CPRE is staffed almost entirely by volunteers and struggles for funds (just like us) and anything you can do to support them would be gratefully received. We’re in this together folks; this is not just about saving our countryside but our identity as Beautiful Britain.