18th Sep, 2020

Extinction Rebellion and local campaigners to walk 125miles along HS2 route

Laura Kearns 18th Jun, 2020 Updated: 22nd Jun, 2020

EXTINCTION Rebellion and local communities are walking 125miles along the HS2 route to oppose the controversial line.

The group will walk from Birmingham to London over seven days from Saturday (June 20), visiting Crackley Woods in Kenilworth along the way.

Matthew Bishop from the Save Cubbington Woods campaign previously walked the 100 mile route from Cubbington to London.

He said: “We’re marching because we’ve had enough. People have had enough of our government hiding the truth about this project, showing no transparency or accountability. We’ve had enough of our failing democracy, and enough of the continued harm being inflicted on our communities and natural environment.

“That government has carried on with HS2 when we urgently need funding for our health service, our economic recovery and our local transport networks, makes clear where their priorities lie. Building this line is bad for our wildlife, bad for the taxpayer and an assault on our democratic values we hold so dear.”

He will be joined on the march by Stop HS2 campaign manager Joe Rukin from Kenilworth.

Mr Rukin said: “Right from the start, HS2 has been a railway fuelled by lies, with grandiose and impossible promises made by those who will profit it. The already fragile case for this white elephant has been destroyed by the changes to work that coronavirus has brought, but instead of facing these facts, Boris Johnson chose to sneak out Notice to Proceed for HS2 just as it was confirmed that parliament was lied to by HS2 bosses who are desperate to keep their gravy train running at a time when millions are facing life on the dole.”

But HS2 claims the accusations made against it by Extinction Rebellion are incorrect.

A spokeswoman said: “HS2 is already playing a pivotal role in helping Britain’s economic recovery as the country emerges from lockdown, offering more than 400,000 contract opportunities for UK businesses and providing for thousands of jobs right across the country.

“The vast majority of the accusations levelled at HS2 by Extinction Rebellion are inaccurate and some are downright wrong. All leading wildlife organisations agree that climate change is the biggest future threat to wildlife and habitats in the UK. HS2 Ltd is on track to design and build the most sustainable high-speed railway in the world, and we urge environmental groups to help us in getting people out of their cars, off planes and onto low-carbon, greener high speed rail.”

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