HS2 protesters have the chance to speak
Campaigners to vent anger at select committee
ANTI-HS2 campaigners have received a boost after being given permission to have their views heard by the government’s select committee.
The HS2 Action Alliance group had faced opposition from the government, who believed that it should not be allowed to petition against the HS2 hybrid bill which, if passed, will give the go ahead for work to begin on construction of the first phase of the line between London and Birmingham.
The government had challenged the group’s right to appeal because it said that it is made up of individuals who are not all directly affected by the line.
However, the select committee has now agreed that the group should be allowed to be heard, and it will appear before the committee in the coming months.
The HS2 Action Alliance has welcomed the decision. In a statement it said: “We were delighted that the select committee accepted our right to be heard and rejected HS2 Ltd’s crude and anti- democratic attempt to stifle proper and full debate on important environmental issues and compensation. “HS2 Action Alliance now looks forward to raising the concerns in its petition and bringing its independent experts to the committee on behalf of the many thousands of people and groups that rely on us.”
MP Cheryl Gillan, who represents Chesham and Amersham, also praised the decision.
She said: “I am very pleased to hear that the HS2 Hybrid Bill Select Committee has decided that it will hear HS2 Action Alliance and attempts to stifle debate have been dismissed.
“HS2 Action Alliance is funded and supported by a large number of my constituents and is raising a number of important environmental issues in relation to issues such as noise, carbon, biodiversity and compensation.
“I very much hope that by hearing HS2 Action Alliance’s petition, the select committee will be better equipped to introduce effective environmental mitigation and fair compensation for those many thousands of my constituents who are so badly affected by HS2.”