Matthew Bishop set to 'walk the line' of HS2 route to chronicle how it will change lives

Gerry and Matthew Bishop
Gerry and Matthew Bishop

Matthew wants to bring attention to the environmental damage HS2 will cause to the countryside, and will record how HS2 will affect the lives of people who live near to the planned route.

Matthew won't be alone, however.

He is taking on the walk with his 71-year-old mother, Gerry Bishop - and they want you to get involved too!

Their long walk will begin on Easter Monday, 22 April from Cubbington near Leamington Spa.

You can follow Matthew Bishop's progress on his Facebook page here - where each day he will explain where he is, and the planned route for the day so people can join in.
Matthew said: "The idea came to me when I was watching a speech from Tony Benn a few years ago.

"He said, in history when Governments don't listen to people - when campaigning doesn't work, letters don't work, the last resort is to walk.

"He mentioned the Suffragettes, The Civil rights movements marches and several historically important marches where people marched for change.

"That really resonated with me. Everyone I've spoken to is angry about the HS2 Route. Everybody.

"If people turn up to his march and make a big noise, maybe the politicians representing us in the Houses of Parliament will listen up and things may change."

Matthew has got a film crew following him, and he hopes to put out a DVD chronicling his journey.

"As we pass through all these beautiful areas that will be decimated by HS2, I want to help record the damage that this train line will do. I want everyone to contribute their story to the documentary we're making.

"People see the damage much more clearly when there's a human interest story behind the actions of HS2. That's what I want to show."

Matthew will be joined by other members of his family throughout the journey.

Matthew says he sees himself as standing up to the huge corporate bully of HS2.

He said: "People have lost their faith in their power to stand up to politicians. People have lost faith in their own power to change matters.

"If enough people kick up a fuss about HS2, politicians will be forced to change their minds on the project. It's as simple as that. Let's get as many people marching as we can to try and derail this ill thought out project."

"We were originally starting in London and walking home but now we will start from Cubbington where our local woodland is being destroyed, and walk towards London hopefully gathering support along the way.

"The walk will be filmed to document the people and places we meet along the way. To see the countryside and woodland that will be lost, the homes, the people and family businesses that are already being displaced.

"I reside in Leamington Spa where the proposed track cuts through the heart of the local countryside and areas of woodland that have been a haven of peace for town dwellers since my childhood.

"And from the edge of London to Birmingham, across 100 miles of English countryside the story is repeated over and over. So many people are being bullied into submission by a Government backed corporate power."