Express & Star

'Don't vote for parties that back HS2' urge campaigners

Anti-HS2 activists have launched a new campaign urging one million people not to vote for the parties supporting the £50 billion project.


The 'No Votes For You with HS2' campaign is appealing to all those affected by the high speed rail link across the country to refuse votes to parties in support of HS2.

The Conservative-Lib Dem coalition is pushing ahead with plans for the route, linking London and Birmingham before forking north to Leeds and Manchester, while Labour has also pledged support if further financial details are revealed.

Organisers are targeting both the 2015 General Election and elections for the European parliament next year. The campaign is being spearheaded by All Staffordshire Action Groups Against HS2 and the national Stop HS2 group.

ASAGA HS2 campaigner Trevor Forrester said the groups launched a publicity drive, distributing material to all political parties and all Stop HS2 groups across the country yesterday.

"There are 540,000 properties – and between 700,000 and one million people – affected up and down the country by HS2," said Mr Forrester.

"We will therefore be urging one million people to turn away from the main three parties which are in support of HS2. I simply cannot understand why anyone who is affected by HS2 could ever be in support of the parties who are backing the project.

"We do, however, need to bear in mind that many of the people who support Stop HS2 are staunch Conservatives, and they're the ones that need to be convinced not to vote for the Tories. It's a huge campaign."

Mr Forrester added the news Government ministers want to use a veto to ban the publication of a damning report into the project has made him all the more adamant, as he feels such a move would 'blind people from the truth'.

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude and Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin claim the publication of the document would cause 'political and presentational difficulties' and could seriously damage the project.

Critics, meanwhile, have called the move 'disgraceful' and say they will use Freedom of Informationto demand the Project Assessment Review from November 2011 be published.

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