1st Oct, 2020

Campaigners claim HS2 contractors tried to run them over with a wood chipper as they tried to protect ancient trees

Laura Kearns 11th Dec, 2019

HS2 campaigners claim contractors tried to run them over with a wood chipper as they tried to protect trees.

Police were called to the junction of Welsh Road and Fosse Way near Cubbington at around 10am on Monday (December 9).

Protestors were at the site to stop HS2 contractors cutting down mature trees on the land – after the government said ancient woodland would be protected while a review into the controversial line took place.

But when campaigner Joe Rukin – who has been staying at a campsite in Kenilworth’s Crackley Woods, which HS2 will cut through – stood in front of a wood chipper he says the driver refused to stop.

He said: “I was stood in front of it trying to stop the trees being chopped down and they tried to run me over.

“It was massively irresponsible.

“You do not expect they will behave that way. It was so dangerous and unexpected.”

After police were called the contractors packed up and left the site, despite no complaints being made or offences reported.

At the time of going to press they had not returned to continue work.

HS2 said it could fell the trees as government has allowed some work to be carried out while the review takes place.

A HS2 spokesman said: “Limited preparatory works can be undertaken during the review period. Safety and security around all of our live sites is our top priority.

“This land is possessed by HS2, and actions such as this are costly to the taxpayer, cause unnecessary delays and are a threat to the safety of the public and our workers.

“HS2 is the low-carbon transport alternative which will help Britain achieve our target of net zero carbon emissions by reducing the number of cars and lorries on the roads, and domestic flights across the UK.”

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