One of our Stop HS2 supporters sent this to us: they said it was important that people knew.
We had our second community forum meeting last night for Hints, Drayton Bassett and Weeford.
One quite disturbing thing came to light regarding footpaths.
In our area, we were told that HS2 Ltd plan to do a survey on a Saturday in July of usage of each path affected by HS2. It was pointed out that as all the paths are on maps and are rights of way, that such a survey is not necessary.
But it is going to be done, they said, and will be conducted by counting people in a similar way to the traffic counts which are on going at present and they would not specify on which date this would take place. (Scared we will pack the paths out with walkers, no doubt.)
HS2 Ltd do not appear to acknowledge that these are rights of way regardless of density of use.
When asked how footpaths would be treated when the line is completed there was no response.
Our suspicion is that a lot of these paths will disappear for ever based on this spurious survey on one Saturday in July.
In South Staffordshire the indicative route crosses footpaths 16 times. This includes the Heart of England Way which is part of the European Footpath E 2.
Luckily we had the Chair of the Heart Of England Way at the forum and I suspect he is going to create waves about this. Let’s hope someone is listening!
Our concern is that a survey done on a single day will give misleading results. If it’s a hot day, there may be fewer people out than normal, similarly if it is raining heavily. With the Olympics starting in July, some people may stay at home to watch sport as well. And as the article said, these are rights if way.