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Grayling granted injunction to stop protestors trespassing on HS2 construction site

Chris Grayling has this week been granted an injunction to stop campaigners protesting the construction of HS2 on site.

DfT demanded the injunction to prevent eight protestors demonstrating on site where the high-speed line in the Colne Valley, Hillingdon.

The project has faced regular protests since last October, but the government argues that protestors have been trespassing and have even attached themselves to trees and machinery to disrupt work.

According to The Guardian, the high court was told yesterday 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.

A HS2 spokesperson said the news meant that work could now be delivered without disruption: “Alongside the economic benefits, HS2 will deliver a new ‘green corridor’ made up of woodland, wildlife habitats and amenity facilities, designed to blend the line into the landscape and leave a lasting legacy of high-quality green spaces all along the route,” they explained.

“We understand that people feel strongly about the impact the project will have on their community, and that they want us to hear their views. That is why we offer numerous channels through which they can make their feelings understood.”

Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley slammed the decision, stating that the injunction was an “attack on the democratic right to peaceful protest.”

“But the campaign against HS2 will not be silenced,” he continued.

“We will continue to stand in solidarity with campaigners putting their bodies on the line in the fight to stop this vanity project. HS2 will trample communities, businesses and nearly a hundred ancient woodlands. It is environmental vandalism and it must be stopped.”

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

Top Image:  David Mirzoeff PA Wire


Lutz   20/02/2018 at 13:58

Next time, just put an extra lock on the chains - one that they do not have a key to, and leave them there for a few days.

Peter   20/02/2018 at 15:31

Do the HS2 spokespersons also write romantic fiction ? 'Green corridor' 'woodland' 'wildlife habitats' 'high quality green spaces'. They are that already, soon to become more dystopian than delightful.

Andrew Hardy   20/02/2018 at 16:18

"We offer numerous channels through which they can make their feelings understood" - all of which we completely ignore. The High Speed Rail Act is another example of the extreme incompetence practised by Failing Grayling. There are no checks and balances and HS2 Ltd can do whatever they want without consequence. Remember whenever HS2 Ltd say "we are committed to...." it means "we don't have to do anything about this".

Sonning Cutting   20/02/2018 at 16:44

Are these the same protesters who were in Kent when HS1 was built? I seem to remember similar tales of woe, particularly for the stretch from the Medway through to Ashford. Now look at it; its a green corridor for wildlife and noise is no problem. And everyone wants some of the action. Also am sure the Red Kites of the Chilterns will continue to thrive without human disturbance!

Druim Fada   20/02/2018 at 17:00

Just think! If these protesters had beeb around in the early - mid 19th century we we might not have a railway to write and complain about, This little island of ours would probably be slowly sinking under the weight of concrete motorways and roads. Why is it I rarely read about protests at new Motorways?

John Payne   20/02/2018 at 17:00

that'll be affect 2400 species - maybe - does that include lots of beetles ?

Melvyn   20/02/2018 at 18:09

Anti HS2 protesters who most likely arrive in their 4x4 SUVs having driven on Motorways that destroyed far more countryside than a twin track railway....! Parliament voted by around 10/1 to approve HS2 with latest vote only attracting a dozen MPs opposed to Bill out of over 600 MPs !

Neil Palmer   20/02/2018 at 20:50

Lutz's suggestion is brilliant ! Help them with their protest by adding more padlocks, just to make sure they don't go through a weak spell and think or running off down the motorway to Harrod's in their giant SUVs.

Peter Jarvis   20/02/2018 at 21:46

We had all this when building a railway in North Wales. It would ruin the countryside (we run through a particularly beautiful part of the National Park), we would cut down ancient woodland, farming would be impossible, the sheep would abort, the forestry would catch fire, the noise would keep people awake. Four public inquiries, and appeals in court (none upheld). None of these disasters has happened and I am told that 10% of the tourist income of the county - and it is a county largely dependent on tourism - is attributable to our Railway. We employ 70 people all year (with apprenticeships supported by the Welsh Gov't), 110 in the summer, and a further 350 local jobs depend on providing beds and meals for our visitors. Small beer in national terms, but well worth while in a depressed corner of the UK.

James Palma   21/02/2018 at 07:53

Why can't the government charge these people for the increased costs to construction of the railway? They want more woodland, they should pay for it directly. Those people in the Chiltern who want the tunnel building? They should pay for it themselves. That way the unnecessary costs of the project are minimised to the average tax payer, and the specialist requirements are paid for by those who want them.

Gabriel Oak   21/02/2018 at 09:01

@Why is it I rarely read about protests at new Motorways? Probably as so few are being built! ;-) There were considerably protests over the Newbury and Winchester 'by-passes'. There was so much protest surrounding HS1 but many now accept it isn't anywhere near as intrusive as claimed by protestors.

Noam Bleicher   21/02/2018 at 10:16

These people are incredibly naïve. Without HS2 there is a danger than a new generation of motorways will be built instead, given the lobbying by business for an East-West motorway and the fact the extreme right wing of the Tory party are in the ascendant. Motorways are far, far more destructive than HSR lines.

J, Leicester   21/02/2018 at 11:47

NIMBYism at its finest. I was sceptical of HS2 at first, but the reality is that our rail network is at creaking point. We need extra capacity, that only a new line can bring, not least due to the growing number of containerised freight terminals and the need to free up classic line capacity for more freight in the future. The only alternative floated - namely, additional tracks along existing routes - would cause far more disruption, displacement and disruption of the already-developed tracksides than HS2 ever will. Get it done, and if a few hippies get locked up for breaching court injunctions that's a necessary evil. You gotta crack a few eggs to make an omelette.

John Webster   21/02/2018 at 14:43

The more they protest and cause disruption the more it will cost, so they lose out both ways - because it will be built and we all have to pay for it!

Andrew Hardy   21/02/2018 at 16:31

This railways is being built based on a pack of lies and the output from 11 PR companies paid for by MILLIONS of pounds of TAXPAYER's money to convince the TAXPAYER that it is a good idea - and they failed. 70% of the general population think it should be scrapped. Several reports NOT financed by HS2 Ltd have stated it is bad value for money (around £5,500 per UK household) and will probably further unbalance the economy in favour of London. Part of the justification for it involves stripping £8 billion from the budget for existing rail services. They have now resorted to "bribing" councils along the route with millions of pounds of handouts for "road safety improvements". When you say the protesters are costing the taxpayer money, you do realise this vanity project is costing £56,000,000,000????

Paul   22/02/2018 at 01:20

Andrew Hardy's vitriol at this project is as short-sighted as we usually get from the anti-brigade! 70% of the general public allegedly think it should be scrapped purely on cost grounds. I haven't heard anybody with any knowledge of the subject suggesting it should be scrapped because we don't need it. It is fundamentally obvious that this Country needs something as current infrastructure cannot sustain the growth, road or rail. The vast majority would prefer expansion of rail infrastructure as it is far less destructive as road schemes. Witness years ago in Kent, HS1 (howls of indignation and outrage) and M20 (we needed this years ago) - which is the most hideous, land grabbing, noisiest and costliest? I'll leave you to guess. You hardly hear any protests about HS1 now as it has proven to be acceptable. Destroy HS2 and you will find massive swathes of new motorway ploughing through the countryside! HS2 is definitely needed. I don't agree with the Route and some other aspects of the Scheme, but I have no doubts we need it. We just have to try and get the clumsy Politicians to get the Scheme right and at a better price!

Mark Hare   22/02/2018 at 10:49

More anti-HS2 tosh being spouted by Andrew Hardy. Much of the public still believes mistakenly that the purpose of HS2 is to shave a few minutes off journey times from London to Birmingham and the North, totally disregarding the capacity issue. And predictably, no suggestion as to alternative measures to combat the problem if HS2 were not built.

John Grant   22/02/2018 at 18:43

"a new ‘green corridor’ made up of woodland" -- what about leaves on the line?

Chris Makin   24/02/2018 at 08:50

Strength to the protesters. The HS2 project is a dreadful waste of funds. Having now retired from the railway I look back and see an existing rail infrastructure still falling apart through years of neglect.

Mark Hare   26/02/2018 at 17:03

@Chris Makin - really? The WCML upgraded at a cost of £9 Billion. The Chiltern Mainline Evergreen upgrades and redoubling. The Borders Railway re-opened. New stations opening all the time. Crossrail. East-West Rail. Plenty of money is being invested in our existing rail infrastructure as well as mothballed lines brought back into use and new lines opening. HS2 is needed and the sooner it opens the better.

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