HS2 protesters plan ‘nationwide day of action’ over rail expansion

A nationwide day of action against HS2 – involving banner drops, solidarity protests and a “Twitter storm” – is planned for Monday as the bill to expand the line beyond Crewe is presented to parliament.

Environmental activists say the bill will “sanction immense and irreversible destruction to the environment” and want to raise awareness of HS2’s “continuing ecocide, corruption and financial mismanagement”.

In contrast, the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, has called the bill, which extends HS2 from Crewe to Manchester, “a landmark moment” in improving the country’s rail connections.

The Department for Transport said the line would cut travel times from Manchester to London by about 55 minutes and 45 minutes between Manchester and Birmingham.

Labour politicians have described the proposals as the wrong plan for the north and a missed opportunity.

The day of action is expected to include events along the line with a particular focus on Manchester, in Piccadilly Gardens, and Birmingham, at the Thinktank Science Museum.

Campaigners are also using social media and want to create a Twitter storm using the hashtags #HS2CostingTheEarth, #StopHS2 and #HS2Rebellion.

Alan, a spokesperson for Stop HS2 North, said activists began the day with banner drops. “Now we will take part in protests and solidarity events all along the proposed route, so we can demonstrate to the government how unpopular and unnecessary this project is,”그는 말했다.

“People are being faced with a choice between being able to heat or eat. 그 동안에, HS2 has a blank cheque to commit terrible and irreversible ecocide. This money ought to be used to properly fund our NHS, improve local transport links, help ordinary people with the rising cost of living, and to resolve our energy crisis.”

앤디 번햄, 그레이터 맨체스터 시장, said he remained committed to bringing HS2 to the region. But he said it was the “wrong plan.

그는 덧붙였다: “Building HS2 on the surface at Manchester Piccadilly means the new station will be at full capacity from day one. It means the new train services from Liverpool and Leeds having to reverse out. And it also means forever losing prime development land and the economic opportunity that goes with it.

“We also again have to ask again: why is Greater Manchester the only part of the country being asked to make a substantial financial contribution to the cost of HS2? We believe there is a better plan which would do much more to level up the north of 영국 with the south.”

He called for a new underground station in Manchester to help deliver a new line between Manchester and Leeds, “which is what we were promised”.

The government published its £96bn integrated rail plan for the north in November, which abandoned an eastern leg of HS2 and downgraded plans for a new line across the Pennines.

Louise Haigh, the shadow transport secretary, said Monday’s HS2 bill represented “a monumental missed opportunity to drive growth and investment right across the north and the Midlands.

“The rail betrayal will hit millions of people and leave swathes of the north and the Midlands in the slow lane for decades.”

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