Campaigners tell HS2 'we haven't gone away' at protest in Steeple Claydon

Anti-HS2 campaigners were once again out in force yesterday in Steeple Claydon to remind the high speed rail link constructors that they haven't given up on protecting their countryside.

Tuesday, 3rd March 2020, 10:50 am
Updated Tuesday, 3rd March 2020, 10:51 am

The protest was led as ever by the group Anti-HS2 SOC (Save Our Countryside) and was joined by protesters from elsewhere along the line as well as Councillor Angela MacPherson who's been a prominent voice in speaking against the scheme.

At least 30 people attended in total to make their feelings about HS2 known.

Frank Mahon of Anti-HS2 SOC (Save Our Countryside) said to The Bucks Herald: “We made a show this morning to let HS2 know that we haven't gone away, we're still here, we will still try to protect our countryside, especially during the nesting season.”

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HS2 protesters in Steeple Claydon on Monday 2 March

The group have been almost ever-present in the countryside surrounding the village of Steeple Claydon and last summer placed themselves in front of machinery in order to stop work.

Frank added: "If we have to spend another eight months up in that field we'll do it."

Leader of Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) Councillor Angela MacPherson was equally defiant and cautiously optimistic when she spoke to us, saying: "All is not lost because the notice to proceed hasn't been granted yet.

"We all think there may be a chink in their armour - certainly enough to carry on protesting and potentially to get it stopped."

Linda Knights has been a determined campaigner against HS2

The councillor was very clear about how poorly she thinks HS2 has behaved, telling us: “It's still very important that we make our voices heard in the community because HS2 have not shown the community the respect they deserve and they certainly haven't shown the environment the respect it deserves,” adding, “the way they've treated people is absolutely disgusting.”

Last month Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that HS2 would be going ahead but described it as a “controversial and difficult decision.” The announcement came after the Oakervee Review into HS2 gave the project the green light.

The formal notice to proceed, though much delayed, is now expected to be granted in April.

Anti-HS2 SOC (Save Our Countryside) make their presence felt
HS2 protester in Steeple Claydon