Stop HS2, the national campaigning body against the high speed rail proposals have launched an appeal for funds, just as they prepare for a lobby day in Westminster.

Campaigners from up and down the proposed HS2 line will head to Westminster on 25th October for a lobby day which has been booked by South Northamptonshire MP, Andrea Leadsom. A range of speakers will present various facts about HS2 which undermine the business and environmental case for HS2 to MPs, and campaigners will have the opportunity to speak with various Members of Parliament. 

Stop HS2 Convenor Joe Rukin said;

“At Conservative Party Conference, David Cameron was full of platitudes for HS2, but the problem is he is completely misinformed. He said that it will be good for the environment to get people out of cars and onto HS2, but due to the masses of energy needed to get to 250mph, HS2 will actually be 35% more polluting than car travel. He said all the evidence shows HS2 will be great for regeneration of the regions, but an Imperial College report shows any regenerational effect will be minimal, and the University of Barcelona have shown that only the ‘primate city’, i.e. London will most likely benefit. He also said that HS2 will bring the country closer together, but the truth is that spending £34bn on one train line for businessmen at a time when all public services are being cut will only drive the country further apart. These are the sort of points we have to get across to MPs who simply do not have the facts.” 

The Stop HS2 campaign is calling on all opponents of HS2 to donate £5 to the fighting fund, as various things are being planned such as a convention to educate and opponents and potentially a Judicial Review. 

Rukin said;

“So far everything Stop HS2 has done in terms of raising public awareness and fighting these proposals has been funded directly out of the pockets of volunteers, with a handful of donations. We have now come to the point where we need some serious money to take things to the next stage, so we are asking everyone opposed to the plans to donate five pounds. Just if everyone who has signed the online petition did this, it would be over £40,000.”

 “We have been in conversations with Public Interest Lawyers of Birmingham who specialise in planning, environmental and human rights issues and there is definite scope for a Judicial Review, it is simply an issue of timing. In terms of a case for Judicial Review, obviously we can’t go into too many of the details at the moment for fear of prejudicing future legal proceedings, but the evidence is stacking up.”

“The Government has a responsibility to take decisions in the countrys best interest. The Judicial Review process exists to allow the public to challenge Government when they have failed to act fairly or rationally. We believe that the treatment of individuals directly affected is fundamentally wrong and unfair and the lack of a sufficient business or environmental case means decision to proceed to date is unfair. We also believe government has decided to progress this project further than it should have done prior to public consultation and this has been made even more clear due to this weeks decision to announce stage two before consultation on stage one. Judicial Reviews do cost money and we need anyone who believes this should be challenged to contribute. “

“There are of course many other things that we will need to pay for, such as information to distribute during the public consultation and we are currently working on a convention, open to all, where people will be able to get more information about the case against HS2 and will be empowered to help the campaign.”

“We will of course continue doing the things we can do for free, such as promoting the petition. David Cameron said before the election that any petition getting 100,000 signatures would get a parliamentary debate, and with the online petition currently getting about 2000 signatures per week, we should be in a position to test that promise at some time next year. We call on everybody against HS2 to sign the petition at www.stophs2.org and ask everyone they know to do the same.”

Donations can be made online at www.stophs2.org and cheques to ‘Stop HS2’ should be sent to 2 Caesar Road, Kenilworth, CV8 1DL.

 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.

  1. The parliamentary lobby day will take place on 25th October, 2.30-4.30 in Portcullis House.
  2. For more details contact Joe Rukin on 07811 371880.
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