Information events to provide facts on HS2 branded 'PR stunt'

Information events to provide facts on HS2 branded 'PR stunt'

By Antony Clay | 06/09/2017

Information events to provide facts on HS2 branded 'PR stunt'

PROTESTERS have vowed to make their feelings known at three HS2 information events next week.

HS2 Ltd, which recently got permission to push ahead with its proposed high-speed rail line from Aston and Bramley up to Mexborough and into the Dearne Valley, is holding the events to help people find out information on the project.

But protesters claim they are just a "PR stunt" that have come too late and that ignore the strength of feeling against the so-called M18 route chosen by the government.

The information events are:

  • Tuesday, September 12 —Dearne Valley Leisure Centre, Doncaster Road, Mexborough from 2pm to 8pm;
  • Wednesday, September 13 — Best Western Consort Hotel, Brampton Road, Thurcroft from 2pm to 8pm;
  • Thursday, September 14  — Best Western Aston Hall Hotel, Worksop Road, Aston from 2pm to 8pm.

HS2 said people will be able to find out how the route will be developed and how environmental impacts will be assessed at the events.

But protesters, still angry that their call for the HS2 line to be either scrapped or routed through Meadowhall, said they will attend the events to make their feelings known.

Grant Morement, Hooton Roberts and Firsby HS2 Action Group coordinator, said: “To say that over 4,000 people voted against the M18 route versus 250ish people for it, I would say that it is another PR exercise.

“Our number one priority at the moment is to prevent the route from going ahead, like it has always been, but now we must consider the effects on the people that will be affected if the route proceeds as planned.

“Hopefully we will be going down to Parliament soon to discuss this with Paul Maynard (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Transport). 

“We will be attending the event in Thurcroft to again raise our arguments against the route, but to also ensure that the residents of Firsby, and our two resident farming families, are protected/compensated.”

Mexborough First councillor Sean Gibbons said: “It does sound like another infamous HS2 PR exercise I’m afraid.

“We are expecting a record number of local people attending on September 12 and HS2 had better be prepared to deal with concerns effectively and with clear, consistent information.

“HS2 have recently appointed a new community engagement adviser for the Doncaster area who, with colleagues, have started to meet with local residents in small groups.

“Mexborough First councillors are requesting that HS2 meet with all affected residents in small groups across the main significantly affected areas ie Don View, Doncaster Road, Schofield Farm, Pastures Court, Melton View, Mallory Road areas etc. 

“Furthermore, we feel that HS2 should contact all affected residents up to 120m from the proposed line and arrange one-to-one meetings to discuss individual personal circumstances and discuss/agree individual action plans/compensation, not just rely on these PR information events.”