STOP HS2 CAMPAIGNERS DEMONSTRATE AT TORY CONFERENCE AS WILLIAMS COMPLETES WALK OF LINE (MONDAY). PROTESTS IN LICHFIELD & COLESHILL TO GREET HAMMOND (TUESDAY).
After completing her walk of the HS2 mainline from Lichfield to Euston last week, Stop HS2 campaigner Lizzy Williams is walking the branch line into Birmingham and will arrive to coincide with a demonstration in Birmingham against HS2, which will be held on Broad Street, 12.30, Monday 4th October.
Williams will start walking in Water Orton today after joining the PCS demonstration in Birmingham against spending cuts. She will have a further diversion into central Birmingham as at around 8am on Monday morning, she will be live on BBC WM with Secretary of State for Transport, Phillip Hammond.
“I want to go to the PCS demo because the spending cuts this country faces are central to our argument against HS2. We are facing cuts to Education, Health, Defence, Police and Fire Services, I could go on as we are facing cuts to everything, but the Government still think it is reasonable to spend at least £25.5bn on one train line with a dodgy business case. It is ridiculous.”
“I’m looking forward to speaking to Mr Hammond on the radio as I hope he will be less evasive than he was when I met him privately in Brackley. He recently said it was ‘not acceptable’ that we have one of the most expensive railways in the world, yet he wants to build the most expensive railway in the world! He has said HS1 is a ‘national success story’, but it’s losing money, services have been cut, it’s over 60% down on forecasts and it’s being sold for a quarter of what it cost. We are worried that HS2 will be a similar sort of ‘success’.”
On Tuesday 5th September, demonstrations are organised as Hammond continues his tour of areas affected by HS2. The Secretary of State is planning to have meetings lasting an hour at Coleshill Town Hall at 11.15 and Lichfield Guildhall at 2pm.
Mr Hammond has been met by demonstrations since his meeting in Brackley, and last week changed the time and location of one meeting at the last minute in an attempt to avoid protests. Whilst protest organisers managed to publicise the change in time, Speaker of the House, John Bercow MP registered his ‘extreme irritation’ at the ‘very cavalier and high-handed manner’ in which this was done and claimed it was a ‘gross discourtesy’.
Of HS2, Speaker Bercow said;
“Put simply, I think it is crazy to go ahead with this project when it does not have a sound business case and at a time when the country is broke.”
Notes to Editors:
- STOP HS2 is the national group campaigning on behalf of anti-HS2 action groups up and down the proposed route. See http://www.stophs2.org.
- On Monday 4th, Lizzy Williams will be walking from Duddeston Railway Station, Duddeston Road, B7 4ST at 11am. By 11.45, she will be at the corner of Fazely Street and Bartholomew Street B5 5RB, right under the planned platforms 3 and 4.
- The demonstration on 4th October will take place the demonstration, at 12.30 in the official ‘protest zone’, opposite the ICC (next to ‘House of Sport’) on Broad Street, B1 2DR.
- The demonstrations on 5th October will take place at; Coleshill Town Hall, 144 High Street, Coleshill, B46 3BG. This meeting is scheduled to run from 11.15 to 12.15, so demonstrators will arrive from 10.45. Lichfield Guildhall, 2-3 Guildhall, Bore St, Lichfield WS13 6LX. This meeting is scheduled to run from 2.00-3.00, so demonstrators will arrive from 1.30.
- For more details contact Joe Rukin on 07811 371880 or Lizzy Williams on 07842 164880.
- For photos from the events, contact Rob Eames at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Videos from Phillip Hammonds visits in Buckinghamshire last week can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/user/StopHS2