On Monday, hundreds of Stop HS2 campaigners will be heading down to Parliament to try and educate MPs and Lords as to what HS2 actually means, why the rhetoric being used to justify it doesn’t add up, and why HS2 should be consigned to the dustbin.
The reason why Monday 25th November was chosen is that we’ve known for the last month that the Government will deposit their Hybrid Bill, a piece of legislation which would set in motion the construction of HS2, detailing how it would be built. Of course this is just the start of a procedure which would a bill procedure would take years.
While the first reading of a bill is just a procedural non-event which doesn’t have a debate with it and will last about five seconds, what it does mark is the publication of supporting documents. One of these will be the Environmental Statement, estimated to be about 50,000 pages long, and a consultation on this will start on Monday. Remarkably, this consultation will take only eight weeks, concluding on January 24th. This is in comparison with a nine-page consultation on tractor speeds which has been given twelve weeks.
It isn’t expected that there will be any nice surprises in the published documents, but it is quite conceivable there will be some nasty ones, as the ‘book of reference’ details the land HS2 Ltd will need for construction the line.
The deposition of the Hybrid Bill marks the start of the endgame in the campaign, so we really hope you can join us at Parliament.
We have arranged a number of different events for the day, and we hope as many people as possible will come to each of them.
11am – 12 noon Demonstration at Old Palace Yard. People are likely to start arriving earlier from about 10.30, so please come along if you are able to.
1pm – 3pm Committee Room 12 has been booked for people – that’s you! – to arrange meetings with their MP, or with a Lord, to discuss HS2. Please ask them for a meeting.
You can find contact details for Lords on https://www.writetothem.com/lords. This will allow you to search for Lords who share your interests, or are connected to a locality, and send them on an email. An individualised email can be very effective.
You can also use https://www.writetothem.com to find how to contact your own MP.
1pm – 3pm Committee Room 11will be an event, with speakers for MPs and Lords, expelling the problems with HS2.
3.30pm – 5.30pm Committee Room 14 This is for members of the public, and will have speakers: it is a repeat of the earlier event.
Please contact your MP and tell them about the day, as the more people who tell them about it, the more likely they are to be able to attend.
For details of travel arrangements by local action groups see http://stophs2.org/news/9760-lobby-day-transport-details and for other details see Join us and make a difference at Parliament, 25th November.