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In line with the need to get as much information out about HS2 to as many people as possible, the Stop HS2 website is updated daily and gets thousands of visitors every day, while the Stop HS2 Facebook page is the primary place to find any press coverage of HS2, much of which we have had a hand in creating.
As well as these, there have been a lot of headline achievements from Stop HS2;
· In 2010, Stop HS2 founder Lizzy Williams got national publicity when she walked the entire route of Stage 1 of HS2.
· Delivering a petition of 108,000 signatures opposed to HS2 to Downing Street.
· Focussing individuals and action groups to lobby their councils to oppose HS2, which lead to them coming together and forming the 51m group.
· Stop HS2 held the first HS2 parliamentary lobby day, which was the catalyst for getting MPs opposed to HS2 to coordinate.
· Launching a protest song which was number one for two weeks in the HMV Chart at Christmas 2011.
· Touring the country with our inflatable white elephant, which along with our slogan; “No business case, no environmental case, no money to pay for it.” has become synonymous with the HS2 project.
· Publicising local effects of HS2 and the work of action groups.
· Attending various political party conferences.
· Giving written and oral evidence to parliamentary committees.
· Issuing advice regarding HS2 consultations and encouraging responses.
· Supporting the judicial reviews against HS2.
· Joining with the European movement against pointless megaprojects.
· Producing factual materials and artwork for individuals and action groups opposed to HS2.
· Organising national activities, such as the lighting of beacons along the Stage 1 route of HS2 when the public consultation started.
· Holding demonstrations outside Parliament and council offices during meetings and debates.
Many of these things will of course happen again in different ways now that Stage 2 of HS2 has been announced. The first thing we can confirm Stop HS2 will do again hold a national convention, which is booked for Saturday 29th June. More details will come in the following months, but for now put that date in your diary, as we hope you can come along.
Of course none of this could have been done without your support; moral, virtual, intellectual, physical and financial. You are people who, unlike the political elite who have only listened to the spurious arguments put to them by lobbyists and those with vested interests, have actually taken the time to assess and understand what is being proposed, and know HS2 must be stopped for so many reasons.
Well, we need you to go into bat for the campaign again, and besides this being the third birthday of the original announcement of HS2 there is a great reason to do so. A fortnight ago when Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLouglin announced plans for a ‘Paving Bill’ covering all of the plans for HS2 in the Queens Speech in May, we said it was because the project needed more money as it was already over budget. Well it’s just been confirmed. Over a quarter of a billion has already been spent on HS2 and the Chief Exec has said they will set up an ‘efficiency challenge group’, with their army of consultants already going over budget and the just the cost of rebuilding Euston station having been “underbudgeted by 30-40%”. This is four years before a sod is due to be turned, so who knows what the reality of the total £33 billion budget would be if HS2 went ahead?
We hope you can help, and we thank you for reading this far.