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16/04/2013
High-speed rail link 'will devastate lives' says Nigel Farage


High-speed rail link 'will devastate lives' says Nigel Farage

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Friday, April 05, 2013
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The Sentinel

UKIP leader Nigel Farage joined protesters campaigning to stop the HS2 high-speed rail link from destroying their homes.

Dozens of people gathered at Homestall Barn, in Marston Lane, Marston, near Stone yesterday to hear the politician, who also stopped off in Newcastle ahead of next month's county council elections.

  1. STRONG VIEWS: Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP, speaking in Newcastle, with, to the right with a rosette, UKIP Councillor Derek Huckfield, who represents the Bradwell and Porthill ward. Picture: Malcolm Hart

    STRONG VIEWS: Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP, speaking in Newcastle, with, to the right with a rosette, UKIP Councillor Derek Huckfield, who represents the Bradwell and Porthill ward. Picture: Malcolm Hart

Mr Farage told the crowd HS2 'will devastate lives for decades.'

"As a nation we cannot afford it," he added. "We haven't got £32 billion, we would have to borrow the money.

"We would be better off spending a third of the money on upgrading the network. It won't invigorate business in Staffordshire. Sometimes you have to accept ugly modern things but this is astonishingly appalling."

The £32.7 billion project, which will cut journey times from London to Birmingham from 84 minutes to 49, has sparked major protests.

The first stage from London to Birmingham is due for completion by 2026. The second phase between Birmingham and Manchester will cut through Newcastle and Stafford boroughs and will be readyby 2032.

Opponents say it will have a major impact on the landscape.

Andrew Peach, aged 35, of Marston Lane, lives just 200 metres from the proposed site.

His parents' country house nearby would have to be bulldozed to make way for the railway. He said: "They plan to obliterate houses, we are all very upset.

"The village hasn't changed for hundreds of years and now it could be destroyed."

The trains are predicted to travel at ultra-high speed, at a noise level of 110 decibels. Plans say about 18 trains will pass, every hour at 225mph.

If the project goes ahead, Robert Gasch, aged 63, of Yarlet Lane, will be living next to the line. He said: "I never dreamed this would happen, I just don't see a need for it."

Trevor Forrester, of Staffordshire Action Groups against HS2 (SAGA-HS2) added: "They only plan on compensating people within 60 metres of the line. Whole communities will be affected, not just the ones that will be demolished.We want to stop it altogether. It has no value for Staffordshire."

The group plans to take a class action lawsuit against the Government.

Stone MP Bill Cash said: "I am totally against the HS2, I have convened a group in Parliament and we have won a judicial challenge sending the whole of the compensation package back to square one.

"We are having meetings with the Transport Secretary and we are fighting the whole proposal relentlessly."

Gareth Snell, Labour leader of Newcastle Borough Council, said: "We believe the proposals do not offer any economic benefits to the county. But at a meeting with the transport secretary, he made it abundantly clear that HS2 was going to happen. What we need to do now is fight for compensation."



Read more: http://www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/High-speed-rail-link-devastate-lives/story-18618872-detail/story.html#ixzz2QewdoB82
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