Stop HS2 protesters in Lichfield
Stop HS2 protesters in Lichfield

Campaigners fighting plans for a high speed rail line have restated their belief that cancelling the scheme is the only option.

A lot of the current debate around plans for HS2 have centred on which route the line will take.

A graphic mock-up of the HS2 line
A graphic mock-up of the HS2 line

But Stop HS2’s Joe Rukin has insisted the scheme should be scrapped in favour of a new approach.

The route from London to Birmingham and the as yet unannounced plan for the line to Leeds and Manchester could both have an impact on Lichfield and the surrounding villages.

“The Government are desperate to announce Stage 2 of HS2 to try and muster up more support for their ailing project,” said Stop HS2 campaign manager Joe Rukin. “But the leaks so far have initiated more opposition than support.

“If the speculation is to believed, the Department for Transport seem to be acknowledging the problems with Stage 1, that it is too fast and lacks intermediate stations when planning Stage 2. However, the reality is that it doesn’t matter how much they tweak with HS2, it is and always will be the wrong project for the country and too expensive a mistake to make.”

Mr Rukin has also criticised the way information about the second stage of HS2 has appeared ahead of any official announcement.

“We agree with transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin that it is irresponsible to speculate before the official announcement, a fact which seems to have been missed by whoever in his department is responsible for the leaks so far,” he said.

“The Government have to grow up and realise that they were in court last month because of their complete failure to get things right so far, so need to stop playing these childish games, accept they haven’t got things right and go back to the drawing board and actually come up with a real strategic solution for UK transport needs.

“If the Government think that announcing Stage 2 will mean anything besides the opposition to the project getting stronger, they are sorely mistaken.”

Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

5 replies on “Campaigners insist plans for HS2 scheme must be scrapped completely”

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  1. The principal rationale supporting HS2 is capacity, reliability and quality of services facilitated by the new line; speed is simply an advantageous by-product. The WCML is filling up fast – additional pathways for trains have now all but evaporated – the WCML is the busiest mixed traffic rail artery in Western Europe, bar none. On a regular basis, slower running, stopping commuter services are sacrificed to provide pathways for fast inter-city services, for which demand is rising relentlessly year on year – 9% for the last comparable annual period. Indirectly HS2 WILL take freight off the motorway network by releasing pathways on the existing network

  2. Campaigners fighting plans for a high speed rail line have restated their belief that cancelling the scheme is the only option.

    A small number of individuals, protesting vociferously for obvious reasons of self-interest, ie. phase 1 of HS2 comes near them, might believe there is no other option but for the remaining majority living in the real world, I have a simple question – is there a plan B because HS2 IS happening!

    Right now the stance of some campaigners appears akin to sticking fingers in ears and shouting la-la-la, whilst forlornly hoping the HS2 bogeyman will go away?

    Common sense tells us that constructive engagement and dialogue to obtain mitigation and/or fair and adequate compensation is the best course of action?

  3. Peter – shows how far removed from the real world you are on this project. Mitigation and consultation forums are on going up and down the route. Challenge is that – as with the original consultation – HS2 don’t have a real grasp of the project, they are constantly changing their minds and contradicting themselves. They ride roughshod over local engagement and will announce drastic changes to the press rather than consult. A complete farce of a process but they have “ticked the box” and claim they have consulted.

  4. Is the contributor “Morris” John Morris of Birmingham Airport? He is a regular tweeter on the subject.

    Meanwhile Peter Davidson, one of the few other pro-tweeters says “Common sense tells us that constructive engagement and dialogue to obtain mitigation and/or fair and adequate compensation is the best course of action?”
    It is he who is sticking his fingers in his ears and saying la la la…. He prefers to ignore the fact that this is exactly what the action groups are trying to do.

    The problem is that HS2Ltd is simply not up to the job – any MP with a community forum in their constituency will vouch for that. Even Birmingham City Council is implicitly saying that. HS2 Ltd staff/consultants are giving contradictory information to different forums and they are excruciatingly slow in looking at action groups mitigation proposals.

  5. Evo, I am not John Morris from Birmingham Airport, but a local from Staffordshire. I am getting fed up of the antis calling anyone in favour of hs2 must be person on hs2 payroll.

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