Stopped in their tracks


IT looks like its ‘back to the drawing board’ for opponents of HS2 after the Government said its 100,000 signature petition would not spark a parliamentary debate.

Anti-high speed rail campaigners, Stop HS2, have been collecting signtaures since the scheme was announced.

And in Februray, then opposition leader David Cameron said any petition which reached the 100,000 mark would instantly bring about a debate in the House of Commons.

But Government officials are now insisting the rule only applies to petitions set up on its own e-petition website.

Brackley’s Sout Northants Action Group (SNAG) spokesman Mike Berridge, pictured right with his wife Diane Partington, said the decision disenfranchises many opponents of HS2, including those who are elderly or not computer literate.

“I think people are just used to signing petitions in whatever format, online or physical and I don’t think we have quite grasped this new system of them only being available on line,” he said.

“And it does affect a particular portion of the community who will find it very difficult, quite a lot of the people affected are elderly and not computer literate, and in some ways this does disenfranchise them.”

Stop HS2 believe the high speed rail line will increase carbon emissions and noise pollution, as well as cutting a swathe through the countryside.