HS2 protest group 'Anti-HS2 – SOC (Save Our Countryside)' based in North Buckinghamshire paid a visit to HS2 headquarters in Birmingham today to hand deliver their petition.
The petition, which gained 2,543 signatures, is addressed directly to HS2 CEO Mark Thurston. It states:
“We, the residents of the villages surrounding and impacted by the HS2 IMD construction, are seriously aggrieved by the way HS2/Fusion JV have announced the vegetation clearance works. Your notice regarding the works was issued without any significant public or landowner consultation.”
It goes on to demand an apology for the “offence and distress caused”.
HS2 refused to come outside to address the campaigners or to receive the petition from them so eventually the group sent four of their members into the building to hand it over.
Councillor Charlie Clare said:
“Delivering our community’s petition was a significant step in our campaign to change HS2’s timings and attitudes to the clearance of vegetation at Steeple Claydon and Calvert. It was telling that they refused to send out a representative to collect the petition in front of press cameras. Even 10 Downing Street, sends out a representative to receive petitions so that they can demonstrate to the public that they are willing to listen to peoples’ concerns. However HS2 took a very different approach. It is a shame, but I hope that HS2 will respond positively to our petition. Residents often ask if there will be another demonstration and I will now be turning my focus to that very question.”
Last week we reported on the mixed messages received from HS2 on the start of vegetation clearance in North Buckinghamshire, affecting, among other things, the bird nesting season.
Two members of the Anti-HS2 group independently reported to us that HS2 communication staff had told them that they could stop protesting because they had agreed to delay the works. When we called HS2 for confirmation of this they said there was no delay and that work was going ahead as planned.
See our full report here.