ANTI-HS2 campaigners hope to take fight to new ministers
PROTESTORS fighting controversial plans for a high speed rail track to run past Kenilworth have fresh hope of finally having their case heard in Government thanks to the appointment of new transport ministers.
Stop HS2 group campaigners, who are fiercely against the introduction of the high speed line between London and Birmingham, were repeatedly denied any meetings with the former transport minister, Justine Greening.
But they have now written to the newly appointed transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin - a keen walker and former farm worker - with fresh hope that he will be more sympathetic to their cause and finally hear them out.
Kenilworth’s Stop HS2 campaign co-ordinator Joe Rukin said: “Given Mr McLoughlin’s background, we hope he will be far more receptive than Justine Greening, who refused to meet with us at all. Things cannot get worse than that but we now have to wait and see what he decides in terms of a meeting.”
The group has also written to Simon Burns, minister for transport, and parliamentary under-secretary of state for transport, Stephen Hammond but have yet to receive any responses.
If approved, the contentious track would cut just past Kenilworth and through Burton Green as part of plans to speed up train travel to the capital city. Campaigners fear it will blight homes and businesses, damage untouched countryside and is not economically viable.
Members of Stop HS2 are also hoping the new appointments in Government will considerably delay the plans, giving them more time to make their case.
“We had been expecting the consultations on compensation and land safeguarding, along with the publication of stage two of the route, to happen in the next week or so, but surely there will now be a rethink and a delay,” said Mr Rukin.
“We will be pressing for a complete rethink on HS2, hoping that Mr McLoughlin will see the importance of an integrated transport infrastructure solution for Britain opposed to this ill thought out grand project.”
The introduction of the Hybrid Bill to allow HS2 to proceed is scheduled to go before Parliament at the end of next year.
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Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 14 C
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