The Government has secured an injunction banning protestors from engaging in ‘unlawful’ protests that could disrupt construction of the HS2 rail line in an area of woodland in West London.
Transport secretary Chris Grayling and HS2 Ltd, the government-owned company that is building the new high speed rail link, applied for the High Court order to stop eight protesters demonstrating on the site in Colne Valley Park, a nature reserve on the outskirts of the capital. They accuse the protesters of trespass and obstructing access to the site.
The Guardian reported that the High Court was told there had been 31 different incidents involving protesters since October, when protestors halted the felling of trees by HS2 Ltd by camping out underneath a digger (pictured, right).
A spokesperson for HS2 said: ‘The injunction will help us keep our work sites safe. We have a duty to deliver HS2 on time and on budget, and an injunction will help us avoid delays and additional costs to the UK taxpayer.
‘Alongside the economic benefits, HS2 will deliver a new “green corridor” made up of woodland, wildlife habitats and amenity facilities, designed to blend the line into the landscape and leave a lasting legacy of high quality green spaces all along the route.
‘We understand that people feel strongly about the impact the project will have on their community, and that they want us to hear their views. That is why we offer numerous channels through which they can make their feelings understood.’
Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of the Green party, said: ‘Today we saw an attack on the democratic right to peaceful protest right from the top of government. But the campaign against HS2 will not be silenced.
‘We will continue to stand in solidarity with campaigners putting their bodies on the line in the fight to stop this vanity project. HS2 will trample communities, businesses and nearly a hundred ancient woodlands. It is environmental vandalism and it must be stopped.’