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Hillingdon children deliver HS2 petition to Downing Street

Thursday, 24 November, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Hillingdon children are presenting a petition against the Government’s High Speed Rail (HS2) plans today.

Trains similar to these will operate on the proposed HS2 line between London and Birmingham. Image courtesy John Curnow.

Nine-year-old Max, the oldest of the four youngsters, wanted to send a message to the Prime Minister that it is unfair children don’t have a say in the government’s proposal for the HS2 line between London and Birmingham.

Max will deliver the ‘Save Us From HS2’ petition to Downing Street along with Caitlin, 8, Eve, 6 and Sian, aged 5, accompanied by local Conservative MPs Nick Hurd and John Randall. The petition has been signed by hundreds of children worried the development will ultimately threaten their gardens, schools, scout huts and a play park.

Keri Brennan, Chairman of Hillingdon Against HS2, said: “We have been amazed and humbled by children’s grasp of the facts about HS2.”

She said six Hillingdon schools will be closed in the plans and more will be affected by noise and construction. Hillingdon Outdoor Activities Centre is also under threat.

“Local children understand just how much their neighbourhoods and environment could be affected if HS2 is built,” added Mrs Brennan.

Hillingdon Council is among 14 councils opposed to HS2 and it backs Ruislip Against HS2.

Pro-HS2 MPs cite the economic benefits and improved links between north and south. HS2 will reduce the journey from London to Birmingham to a commutable 49 minutes while construction of the line over the next 7-10 years is expected to create more than 40,000 jobs. Half of the jobs created will be in London.

Director of Consultation and Communications for HS2, Miranda Carter, said: “It can’t stop in Hillingdon because that is where it picks up the high speed but it is a national project. The benefits of economic growth for the whole country will trickle down.”

The main petition against the project, with 108,000 signatures, was presented to Downing Street last month. The Government will make its final decision on the line in mid-December.

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