Petitioning an influential Commons committee about the impact of HS2 is so simple a nine year old can do it, according to an action group fighting the £50bn scheme.
The Select Committee, containing supposedly neutral MPs, cannot stop HS2 in its tracks but it does have to power to make significant changes to the bill.
Those who are directly affected by HS2 have the right to submit petitions, but given the scheme’s huge cost to the taxpayer, this could potentially include anyone in the country.
To submit a petition costs £20, and must be hand delivered to Parliament by 2pm on Friday, May 23 – either by the petitioner, their agent, or their MP.
To assist people getting petitions in, Stop HS2 have produced a comprehensive guide which can be found here.
Campaign manager Joe Rukin will be accepting petitions, which authorise him to act as an agent and deliver the forms, by post until Thursday, May 22.
To illustrate how easy it is to petition against the bill, the campaign launched a video entitled “Petitioning the HS2 Hybrid Bill. If a nine year-old can do it, so can you!” featuring Mr Rukin’s nine year-old son Alexander.
Stop HS2 campaign manager Joe Rukin said: “For four years, HS2 Ltd have been ignoring what people have been saying about how HS2 could cause less of an impact on communities and the countryside, but now everyone has the chance to be heard by people who will actually listen.”
The committees for both Crossrail and HS1 made significant changes, and both of those projects had been planned far more competently than HS2, so it is essential now that anyone who has anything to say about HS2 says it.”
“My son has been asking for ages if he could do something to help the campaign, and with him being affected by HS2 in several ways, it made sense for him to encourage others to petition against HS2.
“He is really excited about going in front of the committee, but that might just be because he will get a day off school!”
Stop HS2 chair Penny Gaines said: “It’s really important that anyone affected by HS2 petitions Parliament. They have been saying for the last four years that people affected should petition, and now you have until May 23 to do so.
“If you don’t petition, you won’t get the changes you want. There are valid reasons for doing this, to get local mitigation and to demonstrate the numbers of people affected.
“So it is really important that as many individuals and groups as possible petition.”