protesters passionate about HS2 plans meet in Buckingham

On a rather mundane trip to my local Waitrose in Buckingham I was met by a very curious sight. Not only was the high street nearly empty of shoppers and passersby which is very unusual for the otherwise bustling Buckingham but as I went to park I was met by a wall of protesters in their white t-shirts furiously waving their wooden boards.

Mothers encouraging their rather bored young children with whistles, in an attempt to replicate the whistling of an old fashioned steam train, Whilst other campaigners pounded the pavement in their uniformed ‘Say no to H2S’ t-shirts pleading with passersby, such as myself, to sign their petition.

A petition personally I fully support as HS2 is the new government proposal for a high speed rail service between London and Birmingham and will cut through buckinghamshire countryside.

I ask myself the question; who wants to get from London to Birmingham or vice versa in an hour? How necessary is a high-speed service between the two cities when a service which takes an hour and 20 mins already exists.

The cause for the campaigners efforts today? A meeting which took place today at Buckingham community centre between secretary of Transport, Phillip Hammond and Buckingham MP and speaker in the houses of commons John Burcow, who is against the £25bn project which is planned to begin in early 2012.

At approx 12pm when the meeting finished, Phillip Hammond was met by a rather disgruntled and loud group of campaigners all of whom wanted their questions answered first. Poor man, I’m sure he wasn’t expecting such a large turn out of protesters for a usually quiet peaceful town, all of who do not regard him very favorably, as he speaks out over the noise of the crowds declaring “The project will go ahead in 2012 as long as funds will allow”.

So perhaps not the response protesters nor John Burcow were hoping for, however I cannot help thinking that perhaps those huge funds are not even there to be used so frivolously on things like the HS2 for example.

As the government announced in the recent budget taxes will inflate and VAT is due to increase to 20% in January next year. While large, expensive and unnecessary (depending on how you personally feel) projects such as the high speed rail link from Birmingham to London, are being planned by government bodies, it is the local projects and communities which are suffering due to cost-cutting.

In my town of Buckingham there is another, smaller protest amongst locals to keep the Red cross centre open as a new government proposal has come through to close all smaller centres such as this due to them not being cost efficient. This particular proposal is rather close to my heart as I care for the majority of those who look forward to and rely on their trips to the red cross centre. For those elderly and ill people who do not have access to family or any family and live day in and day out not communicating with people, Red cross in Buckingham have given them the lifeline and care that is absolutely essential for their needs and survival in an otherwise very lonely existence.

If you find yourself supporting this campaign to stop the high speed rail project, and you want to help the little but very passionate voices of those who live in Buckingham and surrounding areas then go on this website and sign the petition.

On a lighter note: If you are a swimmer in Buckingham and feel (for egotistical reasons) you do not belong in the slow swimming lanes, despite your need to keep your glasses on whilst swimming, I have news for you. YOU DO belong in the slow lanes- lane cloggers!


2 thoughts on “protesters passionate about HS2 plans meet in Buckingham

  1. OriginalHedgehog,

    You will be pleased to hear that The Mums have returned to their protesting youths with vigour against the HS2 and were up in arms in your neighbouring market town. The result of their protests is that the route has been moved! It no longer cuts through the valley between our little village and the nearest town, knocking down a little old ladies house. Instead it will barge along the edge of our top field, encroaching upon the sanctuary of Nancherrow. Childhood dreams of a country wedding at the homestead for my sister have been dashed with the prospect of super fast, extra noisy trains disturbing the peace with nosy businessmen/women glimpsing the festivities as they hurtle past to their very important business in town.

    Does this not remind you of a modern day Cranford. The BBC drama of Christmas 2009 with Judy Dench and her band of fussing Ladies protesting against the steam train before realising its potential for pinning bright young men to their local area. Are we halting the progression of the locamotive with pre-industrialisation fears?

    The reality is that the recession will slow the works. My sister and her romantic ideals will not be quashed, at worst she’ll have construction workers eyeballing her big day. (I should probably confirm that as yet my sister has no rock and thus the wedding plans are hypothetical!)

    I should probably be considering the house prices frozen and sunken like the titanic untill the HS2 fate has been confirmed. But that is another rant, for another age, sometime in the future when i have mortgages to consider rather than the weekly student drinks fund!

    Much love from your faithful blog correspondent,


    • Aw my ever supportive sos, thank you for your lovely and passionate reply to my observations from last thursday.
      I am so sorry to ehar about their new and more destructive plans to interrupt your beloved family home, this is an awful revelation. I so hope we will be watching amy get married in your beautiful garden and that the brummy commuters and their desperate need to get to london in an hour are sorely disappointed as their potential new railway is blown out of the water due to a ridiculous budget (alas I fear it may still go on but perhaps in 2020)
      When we get together next over some wine and gin we shall dsicuss this horrible subject, amongst many other more light-hearted ones. Please let me know when your free and have moved in

      Much love always, your hedgehog xx

thoughts please..

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