As there’s nothing going on with the Stop Hs2 campaign as they’re not actually doing anything, it’s no surprise that there’s sod all on their website and Facebook pages anymore. What there is nowadays is moaning about Hs2, or railways in general, or anything that can be remotely connected (no matter how tenuously) with the two. Of course, it won’t stop Hs2 in the slightest but it allows Rukin and Gaines to pretend that they’re still doing something and there’s still a point to their ‘campaign’.
One such load of tosh was penned by Joe Rukin yesterday in which he claimed that the Shropshire Union Canal had collapsed into a sinkhole and that Hs2 would be in danger of suffering the same fate as it will pass nearby.
There was only one problem. It was just another of Rukin’s porkies, a complete fabrication. Here’s his ‘report’ which claims that:
“Well, as of last week this is surely an issue they can no longer ignore in Cheshire, following the opening of a gigantic sinkhole that drained the Shropshire Union Canal at Middlewich, just a couple of hundred yards from where HS2 is intended to cross”.
Gosh! A ‘gigantic sinkhole’ eh? No, not really, there is no sinkhole. There never was. The problem was caused by the canal bank giving way – as this website and host of pictures reveals! Plus, all this information was known BEFORE Rukin penned his rubbish yesterday.
“The bank above the aqueduct burst, spilling the canal’s water into the river.”
There’s another interesting comment from the website which shoots another of Rukin’s foxes: “When the bridges on the Middlewich Branch were constructed in 1827, just at the beginning of the railway age, construction techniques had improved so much that, as we have seen, these later structures can withstand a lot of rough treatment.”
As techniques have moved on a hell of a lot from 1827 I don’t think Hs2 has much to worry about!
There’s more details on the breach here.
Rukin also repeats the lie that then Chancellor George Osborne ‘ordered’ that the route of Hs2 be diverted around his Tatton constituency. He doesn’t offer the slightest shred of evidence for this claim of course. There is none because it’s not true, but then Rukin has a long history of telling lies.
Now it seems Rukin’s flair for dishonesty is starting to annoy even his own campaign’s supporters. This comment has appeared under the article on the Stophs2 Facebook page!
Will someone please pass Rukin a fire-extinguisher to put out his pants?
andrew needham said:
High speed spur
This will avoid the ‘sinkholes’ in mid Cheshire.
The mythical station at Crewe may not happen
Conventional compatible trains will travel to Stafford, Stoke and Macclesfield
Grayling confirmed that the West Coast franchise operator West Coast Partnership would be asked to include a high speed service to Stoke-on-Trent in its market development and service plans.
Dave Roberts said:
I’m very flattered that you should use my comments in your blog, which I have been following with interest for a while now, living as I do very close to the route which HS2 will take through Cheshire. But you may have noticed that, in contradicting Mr Rukin’s claims about the non-existent ‘sinkhole’, Andy Nichols has repeated the erroneous information that the aqueduct ‘collapsed’. As I’ve said in the Middlewich Diary, that early 19th century structure most certainly did NOT ‘collapse’. It stayed firm despite the tremendous pressure and weight of water, mud, clay and debris falling onto it from the canal above. Indeed, as one observer pointed out to me, one of the wide, sweeping buttresses of the aqueduct actually channeled the water and debris from the canal into the river, preventing what could have been even more extensive damage. A cursory glance at the photos people sent to me on that fateful day reveal that the only visible damage to the aqueduct was the loss of a few coping stones on that buttress. The very first report I had that morning stated that the aqueduct had ‘collapsed into the river’, but I discounted it immediately. As I’ve said the structures on the Middlewich Branch Canal were built at the start of the railway age using railway techniques and it would take a lot to destroy one of them. Added to which, of course, is the fact that, although the Canal & River Trust has its critics, that organisation is unlikely to allow such an aqueduct to get into such a poor state of repair that it might fall down. I’m afraid that the opponents of HS2 must look elsewhere for evidence of instability of the land in the area. Many thanks for your interest in the Middlewich Diary. Dave Roberts, Editor.
Paul Bigland said:
Hi Dave, thanks very much for both following my blog – and also correcting misinformation about what happened at Middlewich.