A Stop HS2 placard in the shape of a white elephant
A Stop HS2 placard in the shape of a white elephant

Campaigners fighting plans for a high speed rail line have launched a fundraising appeal.

A Stop HS2 placard in the shape of a white elephant
A Stop HS2 placard in the shape of a white elephant

The Stop HS2 campaign has been battling the route – which will cut through parts of Lichfield and the surrounding villages – since it was announced.

However, it now needs to generate more funds to help it replace a number of items used to highlight their arguments, including Ellie the inflatable elephant.

The mascot has appeared at more than 100 events in the last 12 months as Stop HS2 attempted to drive home their message that the planned line was a white elephant. However, it is now damaged beyond repair and campaigners are keen to purchase a replacement.

The group’s chair Penny Gaines said: “Sadly Ellie has now developed as many holes as the HS2 Ltd business case: she needs to be constantly pumped full of hot air if she is to remain standing. We’ve tried patching Ellie up, but just like the patches on the HS2 Ltd case, these don’t really help.”

Campaign co-ordinator Joe Rukin added: “Although we have achieved a great deal with very little in the way of resources, Stop HS2 as an organisation has always been underfunded, which has a knock-on effect in terms of our capacity and how much we can do.

“We have always wanted to do more, but we have just not been able to. What we really need is regular funding which we can rely on, more than lumps sums, we need people to set up standing orders. They don’t have to be a massive amount if enough people get behind us financially, they just have to be regular so we can plan ahead.

“We know that when Stage 2 is announced there will be a colossal amount of work which we have planned for, but we need to be able to deliver and make the most of the opportunity to double the size of the campaign when it comes. The sad reality is that we will not be able to do this without funding.”

Anyone wanting to donate to Stop HS2 can send a cheque made payable to “Stop HS2″ to Stop HS2, c/o Roger Waller, Treasurer, The Outlook, Dunsmore, Wendover, Bucks. HP22 6QJ. To pay direct into a bank account or set up a standing order, the details are Lloyds-TSB, Sort Code 30-94-93, Account no, 34934760.


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

23 replies on “Stop HS2 campaigners launch fundraising appeal”

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  1. I find it wryly amusing that a campaign group representing some of the wealthiest landowners in rural England, can’t raise enough funds to fight properly.

    Considering the largest constituent of the is group are Tories, currently lecturing us about The Big Society and social responsibly, it’s also rather indicative.

    I love the smell of NIMBYs in the morning.


  2. Why, why would i give any money to these people. these people are so full of the self and need to live in the real world and just give up. HS2 is needed and will get built

  3. I would suggest that everyone should consider very seriously before committing their money to an organisation whose stock in trade has been the publication of lies and half truths. There is a real debate about the route of HS2 to be had, but this will not be furthered by the methods of the Stop HS2 mob, or indeed by inflatable elephants. Ellie does however perfectly illustrate the intellectual level at which Stop HS2 operates.

  4. Think how many hours the unsuspecting taxpayer is having to work to pay for the huge cost of this Concorde on tracks.
    When hospitals are going bust, service men are being laid off there are far better ways of spending our hard earned money. I think High Speed Two is a criminal waste of money. If I had any spare cash I would give it to STOP HS2 rather than to this wasteful Government who have never had a proper job and don’t live in the real world !

    They probably spend our taxpayers money on getting people to tweet pro HS2 stuff – democracy what democracy!

  5. Stop HS2 have only used data supplied by DfT and HS2 Ltd. They don’t need to lie. Government arguements are so full of holes they keep falling in them.
    Apologies I don’t live in the Chilterns, I’m not a Tory and am a pensioner, hence far from rich. More important I look at the detail, think for myself and do not blindly believe all the rhetoric Governmnent churns out either.

  6. The original meaning of a ‘white elephant’ is a useless present that is very expensive to maintain. That is exactly what HS2 would be and the former Secretary of State said as much when he unashamedly referred to it being “a rich man’s toy”. This was around the time he said that he was ‘extremely comfortable’ with being massively rich….
    It is BECAUSE I am not a Tory, and not rich, and not interested in sending more jobs down to London that I am against HS2. Instead I am in favour of using that £33BILLION to invest in transport services fairly and justly, right around the country – resulting in more jobs, more quickly.

  7. Oh what a surprise, the pro HS2 trolls who we know all so well from every single media outlet which allow comments say we’re all a bunch of selfish, rich, land-owning, tory nimbies.

    I worked full time as campaign coordinator for 18 months on income support and now am on less than minimum wage, spent four years on the national executive of a trade union and besides being nowhere near the line myself, I don’t even own a car, let alone a house.

    But hey, just keep on saying the same thing over and over again. I sure you believe it at least.

  8. I see that stop Hs2 have had to get the big guns out. The only hole in HS2 are from stophs2 inself or the sade elephant. So you working for hs2 BELOW the minimum wage, last time i checked is that within the law?????

  9. Most of the people involved in trying to stop HS2 are NOT landowner,or NIMBYS. They are people who have taken the time to look at the cold hard facts of HS2 & found that it is a huge waste of OUR tax payers money, as so many independent & goverment committees have pointed out. Plus the fact that this goverment is spending millions of pounds on this white elephant before a rail is laid.
    The General public NEED to know the truth about HS2. No bussiness case. No enviromental case. Anyone who has an open mind (not like those who support HS2)& looks at the facts should support STOPHS2.

  10. I like the statement of “most” or should you have said that 99.99999% are NIMBYS or LANDOWNER. HS2 is NOT a waste Money and they are undertaking the design work now not wasting money.
    Anyone with an open Mind should just laugh at your comments, all at anti hs2 have VERY Closed Mind.

  11. Morris. When the Public Accouts Comm. was shocked at the RED/AMBER situation with HS2s BCR. When they said that it would be 2.4 & only now we are finding out that it may not even be 1.0. When the DfT is now backing away from the high speed feature. When they used a formula that was out of date to work out how much travel time would save in work lost. I could go on, needless to say I am a Landowner. Of a semi-detached house. And I don’t need to be a NIMBY with so many HUGE faults with DfT. Just look at what they are doing with Virgin Rail.

  12. I hope the ‘experts’ providing the projected passenger figures for HS2 aren’t the same ones who estimated the number of vehicles who would use the M6 Toll. It is doubtful if that particular project will ever reach the numbers that it was planned for. The difference is that the Toll road was finaced privately and it is the Private sector that suffers. Whereas HS2 will be funded by the Taxpayer primarily.

  13. Please read the reviewed BCR and you see that for HS2 phases 1 and 2 has a benefit cost ratio of 2.5 without including wider economic impacts. When did the Dft say anything about backing down on high speed feature. What as Virgin rail go to do with Hs2 as the next TOC will be appointed about the time the first stage is built. So you agree that MOST of the anti are Nimby and landowers

  14. This discussion is I am afraid following the normal sort of pattern set by Stop HS2. To be clear

    a) The business case has been approached in lots of different ways, using very conservative assumptions that do not usually involve the wider economic benefits to the Midlands and North or the cost of doing nothing. The BCR is almost always well over 1.0. If the Treasury of our current spending-averse Chancellor is satisfied with the Business case, then it is probably sound.
    b) An environmental case has been produced and is available on the web. The current exercise is refining this case. The level of design detail that has been produced at this stage in the project is way in advance of anything that has been produced in the past – and this is money well spent.
    c) High speed of itself has never been the major driver as far as the industry is concerned. The issue is one of capacity. Study after study has shown that there is no way that the predicted demand can be met without a new railway (or at any rate one that doesn’t result in decades of disruption on the continuing railway). If a new railway is to be built, then it is sensible to build one to the highest standards and specifications. If no action is taken, then severe measures will be required. One such identified by Network Rail would be the need to close local stations on the West Coast Line – such as Rugeley for example. I can appreciate that “Lichfield Stop HS2 proposes closure of Rugeley Trent Valley” would be an interesting headline indeed.
    d) The comparison with the M6 toll is a rather silly argument – the labour government would have scrapped this if it had been legally possible to do so – and has nothing to do with the wider transport needs of the country, but a lot to do with profit for the operators.
    e) Similarly the argument re Virgin is another red herring (which at least doesn’t yet seem to have developed Ellie’s leaks). The government is being frankly silly here, and should reconsider the whole process. But it has nothing to do with HS2 at all.

    So, as ever, a whole load of wrong facts and irrelevant arguments are presented. Poor Ellie – perhaps she has deflated herself because of the lies that are alien to her truthful species. It would be better to concentrate on the real issues – and indeed the nature of the proposed junction at Lichfield is one where reasoned discussion and argument is required. But that discussion has to be at a very different level from the current one.

  15. Morris. BCR figures. HS1.”There was real over-optimism on the number of passengers they thought they were going to get. “In fact, it’s a third of the figure they originally thought because they didn’t think about what the cheap airlines would do in competing, they didn’t think about what the ferry boat industry would do, and they just got it wrong.”
    The DfT gave insufficient attention to evaluating its major projects.
    Ms Hodge pointed out that an earlier report into the East Coast main line had raised similar concerns about over-optimistic planning.

    And the report warned the same could happen with the far more expensive HS2 line from London to Birmingham.
    She said the DfT told her committee it had not considered the benefits and costs of alternatives to HS2 such as investment in more local train routes. NOT MY WORD. THE PUBLIC ACCOUNT COMMITEEs word.
    When asked recently about the BCR Birmingham Chamber of Commerce how support HS2 could only say it was 1.4. That is below the goverments threshold of value for money.
    Do you own a house, or pay a mortgage then you too are a Landowner.

  16. THE PUBLIC ACCOUNT COMMITTEE is still in favor of building hs2. Did you not read it or just believe the anti propaganda.

  17. The latest response from Ian Morris sort of proves my points. Firstly there are two issues raised that are of no relevance to the HS2 debate (HS1 – a completely different railway operation from HS2 with only a few passenger trains and hour, a cross channel shuttle and a freight operation, and the ECML fiasco, over which the government was repeatedly warned – rather like the current Virgin situation). Secondly HS2 is only regarded as a line from London to Birmingham – which nobody has ever claimed would have an adequate BCR. The full economic benefits come from the complete Y network and will be of major significance to the Midlands and the North – Stop HS2 largely ignores this wider national aspect.

    And to respond to his last comment – I do own a house (on Boley Park to my shame, where the residents seem oddly oblivious to the massive noise pollution from the A38), and I do pay tax. In doing so I recognise that I have responsibilities to the country as a whole rather than simply to narrow self interest.

  18. I’m not fussed either way – we’ve already got a very busy A38 (well two A38’s really); the M6 Toll; the A5 and so on so HS2 won’t impace massively on us. The thing that keeps eating away at me is this: where were the villagers of Whittington when the BNRR protests were underway and the villagers of Shenstone rose together to oppose it?

  19. It is clear that those who are getting positive responses are from Yes to HS2. Clearly they don’t want to be told of the cold hard facts that Mararet Hodge, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee is as she said, “I’m nobody’s fool on HS2”.
    This after the DfT was grilled by the committee for being over- optimistic on HS1, the M25 widening the mess they have left ECML in and now with the scathing dressing down from PAC.
    DfT admit that the whole of HS2 is AMBER/RED and that the figures they have given are to say the least bias.
    And to close with another comment from PAC Chairwoman, Mararet Hodge. Who said, “Estimates all over the ruddy place and poor value for money”.
    I could go on but there are none so blind as those who don’t want to see. And they are those who choose blindly to support HS2.

  20. To be clear, I am not a member of any campaigning organisation, although I do admit to having worked within and around the rail industry for many years. The public accounts committee has one view, which is not necessarily as anti-HS2 as portrayed above. Very many other organisations, with expertise somewhat greater than that of most MPs in both financial and technical terms support the business, social and technical cases for the project. Indeed the Lichfield MP is one of a very small minority in the Commons with any sort of technical education and whose cautious and realistic stance is one that on the whole I respect. I can certainly be critical of aspects of the HS2 scheme as it stands, but constructive criticism is much more fruitful than the scare tactics and half truths adopted by many of the opponents. But it is clear that the current forum is not the place for any sort of constructive debate, and I will hesitate before taking any further part.

  21. This is typical of your propaganda to say something with no proof. “It is clear that those who are getting positive responses are from Yes to HS2.” Do you have any proof, as I like to see it as I am not a member of yes to hs2. However, I see from the stophs2 facebook page that they are now trying to get supportive comments from anyone who will put pen to paper.

    No where within the Public Accounts Committee does is say that Hs2 should not be built only those mistakes in Hs1 should not be used in the BUILDING of hs2. If you have read the report you see that lessons are taken for example the price of the tickets will not be at a premium rate and the reviewed BCR for the whole report.

    To use your word “I could go on but there are none so blind as those idiots who don’t want to see” sorry I had to add the word idiot. The whole of your propaganda has one thing in common with your elephant , full of holes and hot air which is leaking out.

  22. Morris. I was not going to reply, but using the word ‘idiot’ really shows how low some people have sunk in this. I just hope that in time you will see the error of your ways.

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