Railway safety and crime

29.11.18

HS2 work on injunction site halted by overnight protesters

Four environmental protestors managed to stop work on part of the HS2 rail link at a construction site, which was protected by an injunction ordered by Chris Grayling, chaining themselves to part of the site.

The group locked themselves overnight onto a contraption made of chimney pieces in a field in Colne Valley, Hillingdon, protesting against construction on the nature reserve which is the home of a number of wildlife and tree species, as reported by the Guardian.

Construction work for HS2 was due to start on Wednesday evening, but the activists were able to block off a soil bank which they said diggers were coming to remove.

In February this year, Chris Grayling successfully tried to take out an injunction to stop campaigners’ protesting on the same Colne Valley site.

The DfT had demanded the injunction to prevent eight protestors demonstrating on the site, ordering that the protestors were trespassing and had even chained themselves to trees.

The high-speed rail work will include 345 miles of new track which will connect the city centres of London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds, cutting journey times and improving reliability.

According to the protestors last night, the police arrived and told the group they were in breach of an injunction, but managed to point out on a map that they were sitting on a spot not covered by the order.

HS2 protestors have claimed that HS2 will go through 100 acres of ancient woodlands and effect 2,400 different species of flora and fauna.

According to The Guardian, the High Court was told in February that there had been 31 different incidents involving protestors since last October.

The judge, Mr Justice Barling, described the protestors as “committed environmentalists” and said their motivations were not malicious.

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Image credit -  Amy Murphy/PA Archive/PA Images

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