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HS2 campaign group launches consultation hotline

A campaign group fighting plans for high-speed rail has introduced a telephone hotline ahead of the deadline for a Government consultation into the issue.

The Stop HS2 organisation is hoping to offer advice to anyone undecided about the proposed line – which would cut through parts of Lichfield and surrounding villages – in the build up to the July 29 cut-off point.

Stop HS2 Founder Joe Rukin explained:

“HS2 is one of the most internet-based consultations ever, but some people don’t have easy access to the internet. There are tens of
thousands of people who can see the fundamental flaws of HS2, but there are still people out there who oppose the project but haven’t
taken the essential step of responding to the consultation.

“Time is running out and so we have taken the step of opening the hotline to help anyone who does not know what to do, it can be as simple as saying ‘no’ seven times and putting your name and postcode on a postcard.”

They have introduced the number – 01926 850039 – on the back of a report by the Institute for Economic Affairs which suggested high-speed rail would be a “recipe for disaster” based on “bogus assumptions”.

Co-author of the report, IEA deputy director Dr Richard Wellings said:

“HS2 is another political vanity project – like Concorde and the Millennium Dome – being ploughed ahead with complete disregard for properly thought through commercial prospects or the mounting opposition to it. Its environmental credentials are questionable, its projected passenger figures suspect, and its proposed regenerative effects highly dubious.”

Mr Rukin added:

“The advocates of HS2 had a rebuttal to the IEAs findings ready for as soon as it was published, because it, like every other serious
academic body which has looked into HS2 has come out saying exactly what we have been saying for the last year and a half, that there is
no business case, no environmental case and no money to pay for HS2.

“Government and big business advocates who have thrown money at their campaign stick their fingers in their ears when studies like this come out and insist HS2 will be this great thing, but at some point they will have to start taking account of these awkward things called
facts.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.