Following a successful demonstration in Brackley attended by hundreds of people, campaigners fighting the HS2 proposals have organised two more demonstrations for Phillip Hammond on 30th September as he meets with action group leaders and MPs affected by the route. Mr Hammond will be met with protesters as he visits Twyford (Bucks) and Aylesbury on Thursday. 

Penny Gaines, who will attend the meeting in Twyford said; 

“Philip Hammond is trying to present opposition to HS2 as purely based around local concerns.  It isn’t.  Building the proposed high speed railway line will cost all of us £25.5 billion just to go from Euston to Birmingham, slightly faster than you can already get from Euston to Birmingham.”

“The business case for HS2 is based on unrealistic demand forecasts for future travel.  Not only do they depend on a massive and continuing growth in rail passenger numbers, the demand forecasts for HS2 also include a significant proportion of travellers who will only be travelling because the proposed railway line has been built.” 

“However businesses like IBM, GlaxoSmithKline and Volkswagen are successfully getting their staff to reduce the amount they travel.  Even ARUP, the firm which drew up the plans for HS2 is telling staff to use video conferencing instead of travelling to meetings. The use of alternative digital technologies and videoconferencing – encouraged by the Department for Transport’s non-travel remit – means that current travel forecasts will almost certainly have to be revised downwards.”

“Building new High Speed Railway lines has been likened to the age of Victorian railway building.  Railways were the new technology then.  They are the old technology now, and we should, as a nation, be looking at 21st century solutions to 21st century issues.”

Notes to Editors: 

  1. 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.
  2. Secretary of State Phillip Hammond will be met by further demonstrations on Thursday 30th in Twyford and Aylesbury. In Twyford it will take place outside the Village Hall at 11.15 (MK18 4EE). In Aylesbury it will be 3pm at Aylesbury Vale District Council’s offices at the Oculus, located at the junction of Gatehouse Road and Bicester Road (HP19 8FF).
  3. For more details contact Penny Gaines on 01296 655613, Joe Rukin on 07811 371880 or Lizzy Williams on 07842 164880.
  4. There will also be a protest outside Conservative Party Conference at 12.30 on 4th October as Lizzy Williams completes her walk of the Birmingham Branch Line.


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