October 22 2014 Latest news:
Monday, April 28, 2014
Hundreds of protesters have gathered outside parliament today to urge MPs to abandon the High Speed 2 rail link.
Anti-HS2 campaign groups from Camden have joined the protest, issuing their own rallying call for MPs to listen to their fears that the £50bn transport project will bring a “decade of disruption” to the borough.
Parliament debates and votes on the HS2 Bill during its second reading later today, with supporters confident it will be passed by a clear majority.
A rebellion from dozens of Conservative backbenchers is expected to be counteracted by support from Labour MPs - including MP for Hampstead and Kilburn Glenda Jackson.
Should it be passed in its current state, construction of the London to Birmingham line will significantly impact areas of Camden.
Hundreds of homes and businesses in the borough will face demolition and many areas will feel the effect of 10 years of construction.
This includes road closures, the construction of ventilation shafts in Adelaide Road and South Hampstead, and the impact of hundreds of HGVs travelling throughout the borough.
Campaigners say whatever today’s outcome, the battle is “far from over”.
“The project still has a long way to go and over the coming years we will continue to fight to make sure Camden isn’t decimated by HS2,” said Tim Stockton from the Pan Camden HS2 Alliance.
“The case for the project is very poorly made so there’s still everything to fight for.
“Even if it does get approval, there are very strong alternatives that we can argue for.
“There’s a big battle still to take place over the future of Euston station, for example.”
A major redevelopment of Euston station has support from senior government officials, leading to concerns over demolished houses and a “private land-grab”.
Campaigners have argued if the station is to be rebuilt, it should be done within its existing footprint to minimise the impact on the surrounding community.