Creativity

Extinction Rebellion mocks up HS2 train set to warn of its environmental impact

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By Imogen Watson | Senior reporter

December 20, 2019 | 4 min read

With the 2019 general election in the rear mirror, plans for the controversial HighSpeed 2 (HS2) will resume. Extinction Rebellion and other eco-fighters are looking to force a rethink from MPs by creating an attention-grabbing train set.

The planned railway connector between London and Manchester has been one of the UK's most controversial infrastructure projects in recent years. Keen to block HS2 plans due to its environmental impact, Extinction Rebellion, Chris Packman and other campaigners will deliver a toy replica of the high-speed train to 10 Downing Street.

Their intention is to 'forewarn' children of the danger it poses to 100 ancient woodlands and hundreds of other wildlife sites, which will be destroyed in the process. The group also asserted that the construction of the railway will be carbon-intensive, and will enable a large-scale airport expansion.

 Extinction Rebellion tries to block controversial HS2 plans

Extinction Rebellion tries to block controversial HS2 plans

Asking the government to #ReThinkHS2, the packaging of the train set contains a number of disclaimers referencing certain aspects of the project.

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Manufactured by 'Boris' and it reads ' connects to all airports,' 'ancient woodland bulldozers included,' 'not compatible with other trains,' 'slower than advertised' and 'warning: will create more CO2 than it saves.'

On Sunday (22 December) the group will tour central London aboard an open-top double-decker bus, branded with the Extinction Rebellion logo, next to the words 'What every child doesn't want this Christmas' alongside a picture of the toy HS2 train set. The bus also displays the movement - StandForTheTrees.org.

Discussing the anti-HS2 campaign, Dr Gail Bradbrook, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, said: "HS2 is the worst Christmas present the new government could give to our kids in the face of our Climate and Ecological Emergency.

"Destroying ancient woodlands and countryside to make way for a project that will literally choke us environmentally and economically for decades, to enable airport expansion, is utter madness at this time of extreme urgency. HS2 locks us into the past, with even less chance of a habitable future for our children."

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