Yesterday’s torrential rains are causing ripples (if you’ll pardon the pun) today as rail services in the Calder valley are still disrupted. For once the line didn’t flood at Walsden but over in Lancashire. It finally reopened earlier this afternoon, but services are still chaotic with many trains cancelled. This morning, trains from Leeds were being terminated at either Hebden Bridge or Todmorden and nothing was running at all East of Manchester Victoria. This screen at Todmorden says it all…
I’ve ventured out as far as Walsden to have a look and get a few pictures (which I’ll add later). We’ve had very little rain so far today although the skies are constantly changing and threatening another deluge. Sadly, Valley folk are having to become accustomed to floods nowadays. Climate change is here and it’s real, and local human activity up on the moors is exacerbating it by allowing the rain to run off much more quickly.
Trying to protect our Victorian rail network from Climate Change is a huge task. What were once considered once in a century events are now happening with monotonous regularity – and there are no quick fixes or easy solutions as land around railways has been buried under roads or encroached on by housing and commercial developments. This is one of the reasons I’m such an advocate for building HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail. We cannot expect to rely on Victorian infrastructure forever.
OK, as promised, here’s a few pictures from today.
It’s been a wet and miserable day here in the Calder Valley, the leaden skies have been unloading on us since early this morning. If I had plans for an Ark I’d be tempted to dust them off, but then we live high up on the valley side, so if the flood waters ever reached us an ark is exactly what we’d need!
Earlier, I donned my waterproofs and took a stroll down into Sowerby Bridge in order to pick up some shopping and also to get some exercise. I try and walk 5 miles most days in order to keep fit and get away from staring at a computer screen. Today it gave me the excuse to check on the River Calder which runs through the centre of the town. It’s not at Boxing Day 2015 flood levels but it’s way above normal. Here’s the view from the bridge across the river looking East.
This is a still from 2014 showing how this stretch of river normally looks like!
Here’s another view taken from the left hand side of the first video clip, looking towards the railway. The river that joins the Calder under the railway bridge is the Ryburn. It was just the other side of the railway that the 2015 floods happened due to the sheer volume of water being pushed back from the Ryburn by a flooded Calder – just where Sowerby Bridge is at its lowest level.
Apparently, the railway line is closed due to flooding at a familiar weakpoint today, Walsden, to the West of Todmorden, where a culvert passes under the line, so the pair of Pacers you see in the video were the last train to make it through. I also hear that the road between Sowerby Bridge and Todmorden is closed due to flooding!
I’m now back at home in the warm, hoping that the Amber flood warning the Met Office has issued won’t cause us any more problems, but more rain is something we certainly don’t need.
I was up before sparrow fart this morning as I have to be in London for a commission with Network Rail at Euston at 09:00, then in Birmingham in the afternoon for the ACoRP AGM.
Right now I’m walking down to Halifax station to potentially catch the second train of the day – if it’s running to time. My connections are tight if I’m going to be punctual and punctuality isn’t great in the leaf-fall season. There’s no rain this morning, which is a bonus. Instead it’s clear and frosty. The gritting lorries have been busy overnight and as it’s quiet this time of morning i’m walking on the roads rather than the leaf-strewn pavements. Yorkshire stone slabs may look pretty, but in the autumn they’re as slippery and untrustworthy as Boris Johnson!
I’m taking a chance and this could all go horribly wrong, but I’m now on the 05:50 from Halifax to Manchester Victoria, which is being worked by one of Northern’s new Class 195s. It was 3 mins late arriving from Bradford and it’s the first service of the day through the Calder Valley across the Pennines, so I’m taking a risk! I’m sat in the front car and it’s freezing! There’s no heating on and the information screens aren’t working either. The Conductor’s apologiesed and explained that the units come straight off Neville Hill depot and “hasn’t got going yet”!
We’ve just left Sowerby Bridge, where I could have caught the train from (and had an extra 15m in bed) but i’d have been without a plan B (going via the East Coast) if the train had been late or cancelled. To be fair, we’re not doing badly. The driver took it easy leaving the station but the railhead conditions musn’t be too bad as he’s making the most of the unit’s superior acceleration and braking.
We’re now leaving Hebden Bridge and I’ve noticed another thing about this unit (195109) which is there’s a real whistling sound at speed. The unit feels very draughty and I suspect it’s coming from the driver’s door!
The whistling and draughts were annoying enough to make me move into the centre car. It’s still freezing in here but it’s not as draughty! Our timekeeping’s not bad. We’re only 2 mins down departing from Todmorden so I’m cautiously optimistic. In the bay of seats behind me are two men complaining about the service Northern Rail have been providing. To say the TOC has an image problem is an understatement!
We’ve left Rochdale 5 mins late. I can feel the wheels slipping here but the driver’s done well. My connection time in Manchester is going to be very tight, but I might just make it. I’ll let you know if I do afterwards! I’m looking forward to sitting on a nice warm Pendolino with a steaming cup of coffee in my frozen hands…
Bugger – missed it! A 5 minute late arrival into platform 6, the furthest away from the barriers that involves a scrum on the footbridge, meant that – despite a heroic sprint across the city centre – I missed the 07:00 Euston train by 2 minutes! I’m now thawing out in coach C on the 07:15 Pendolino which gets me into Euston 20 mins late. I’m sure my Network Rail colleagues will understand!
Another calamity has befallen me. The coffee machine’s kaput! This could have been an absolute disaster were it not for the fact the chap in the shop had a stash of coffee bags, so I managed to get a brew after all…
We’ve just left Stoke-On-Trent and the few seats keft unoccupied after leaving Stockport have filled up. This is a peak service so tickets aren’t cheap, but that’s not deterred the many business travellers who’re heading down to London for the day. This train’s now fast to Milton Keynes, so I’ll be interested to see how many alight there.
Weatherwise, we had a cracking sunrise around Stockport but now the mist has settled, marring visibility despite the thin, high cloud. I don’t travel the WCML anywhere near as much as I used to, so I’m going to sit back and enjoy the journey for a while.
We’ve just called at Milton Keynes, which became a bit of a scrum because of the passenger churn. Many left us, but many more joined and this train’s now standing room only. Outside, the weather’s changed too. The sky is clear blue whilst the mist has mistly burned off, leaving a lot of the country and lineside steaming in the warm sunshine.
Phew! part 1 of the day’s been done and I now have portraits of 20 members of Network Rail staff in the can after a busy morning at Eversholt St. Despite arriving 25 mins late we managed to catch up time and get through all the pictures that were needed. I even had a bit of time spare to check out progress on the HS2 demolition work around Euston station and the Regent’s Park estate.
Right now I’m on another Virgin Pendolino, this time a 9-car set working the 13:03 from Euston to Birmingham New St in order to get to the ACoRP AGM.
Sadly, the wonderful autumn sunshine I had on the way down and in London has given away to more typical gloomy weather.
Keeping busy at the ACoRP AGM…
The AGM finished at 16:00 but Dawn and I resisted the opportunity to hang around for a drink as we’d seats booked on the 16:57 Cross-Country service to Manchester Piccadilly. These trains are always packed, so it was worth making use of the reservations.
True to form, there was an absolute scrum to get on the train at New St, then the scramble as people (including us) tried to get to their reserved seats. If there’s one train I actively dislike, it’s these. It’s neither fish nor fowl, neither a proper intercity train nor an adequate local one. The sooner these services are replaced by HS2 the better.
15 mins late, but we’re finally in sight of Manchester Piccadilly where we can abandon this train, get some fresh air and clear our ears of the management bollocks being spouted by the guy sat opposite who’s insisting on having a loud (but ultimately pointless as it’s devoid of any real content) conversation on his mobile!
Having traversed Manchester from Piccadilly to Victoria we arrived to find our train home had been cancelled! We’d have been quicker staying at Picc & coming home via Huddersfield. Adjourning to a local history to drown our sorrows and eat crisps we ended up catching the 19:37 instead. We’re now bouncing our way back to Yorkshire on a Pacer (142018 to be precise).
The end of a looong day! I’ve been up since 04:30, travelled hundreds of miles (and walked nearly 11, burning 3.5k calories), visited three of our biggest cities and taken hundreds of photos, so it’s time for a little relaxation and the chance to enjoy a soak in a bath with some of Islay’s finest whisky as a nightcap. Goodnight!
Richard Clinnick has published news in the latest RAIL magazine that the first of the BR era Class 60 diesel locomotives have been sold for scrap. Built between 1989-1992, the 100 Class 60s were never the most successful design but they were significant as they were the end of an era – the last diesel locomotives ever ordered by British Railways before the railways were privatised.
Three of the 59 examples of the class that are stored at the DB Cargo depot in Toton are on their way to scrapyards. Raxstar have purchased 60050 (formerly named ‘Roseberry Topping’) whilst 60006 ‘Scunthorpe Ironmaster’ and 60086 ‘Schiehallion’ are off to Ron Hull’s scrapyard at Rotherham. All three locos have been out of service since the 2000s, with 60006 out of service the longest as it was withdrawn in November 2004. The two other locomotives that were on the tender list, 60060 and 60081 have apparently been bought privately.
Here’s a look back at the three locomotives that have gone for scrap.
I didn’t expect to be bringing this back twice in a week, but then we’re in general election mode which has thrown up all sorts of nonsense, not least from the anti HS2 camp who’re really making me laugh!
The latest exponent of this craziness is one Peter Deeley, an ardent Brexiter (funny how so often being pro Brexit and anti Hs2 goes together, Ed). Deeley is a former Parish Councillor in Boddington which is in the Daventry constituency. You can find him on Twitter as @PDeeley. He’s always been one of those who’re opposed to HS2 who never lets fact get in the way of fiction, especially when it come to claiming how many people actually oppose HS2! If you believed his rambling tweets, the whole country’s united in opposition to HS2! Here’s one of the latest examples, as Deeley tries (and fails) to get people to retweet him.
This was yesterday. Since then, Deeley’s been on a continuous and tedious loop with the same basic tweet and getting nowhere fast as no-one’s interested. But how can this be? Deeley claims there’s “hundreds of thousands” of potential Tory voters willing to switch allegiance because of HS2!
Well, not in his own constituency for a start! Here’s how many in Daventry signed the last StopHs2 petition which finished last week.
Just 100 signatures, or 0.101% of the 99,130 constituents in Daventry. So where are these ‘hundreds of thousands’ then? They exist only in Deeley’s fevered imagination! That ridiculous petition only got 24,079 signatures, nowhere near ‘hundreds of thousands’. Nor have their been any sign of all these people in a single election since 2010. This is the stupidity of these people, it’s pure bluster and it’s so easy to disprove you have to wonder what the hell’s the point? Who do they think they’re fooling other than themselves?
Of course, there’s the usual hypocrisy at large here. Whilst claiming he’d vote Tory if Johnson releases the Oakervee report, Deeley’s not clever enough not to have let the cat out of the bag in his own Twitter feed. His intention’s always been to support the Brexit party, no matter what.
There’s a double irony here. The MP for Daventry is one Chris Heaton-Harris, a Brexit zealot and member of the European Research Group and former group Chair! But then when have these Brexiters ever made sense?
Talking of Farage and the Brexit party, it’s a great shame the man has declared that he’s not going to stand in any constituency in this election as we’ll be deprived of the pleasure of seeing him beaten for the eighth time. Of course, the Brexit party are only Farage’s latest vehicle for his ego, and it’s certainly the strangest. It’s very much his party as it has no national executive or structure, everything is in his control, right down to him charging folk £100 a head for the chance to get on the list of candidates. To say the whole process is bent and the antithesis of democracy is an understatement, but then it’s typical that the people who bang on about the EU being ‘undemocratic’ are the biggest hypocrites.
These are the people that fantasists like Deeley are in bed with. Is it any wonder no-one takes these StopHs2 keyboard warriors seriously anymore?
It’s the beginning of another week and it’s certainly got off to a soggy start! When I opened the bedroom blind this morning I couldn’t see more than a couple of hundred metres, never mind to the opposite side of the valley! The fog’s persisted throughout the day whilst the rain’s been intermittent and annoying, so it’s been a good day to stay at home and scan more old slides, which is what’s kept me occupied for most of the morning.
In between showers I did manage to venture out for my afternoon constitutional and drop off some old railway books at the Jubilee Refreshment rooms on Sowerby Bridge station. On December 5th they’re having a sale of books donated by the estate of the late Theo J Gray, and I’ve added a few of mine to help. All the proceeds will go to the station friends group, so if you’re in the area, pop along! Details are in the link.
Right now I’m back at home, catching up on admin and preparing for a busy week ahead. In the meantime, here’s a few samples of the pictures I’ve been scanning.
You can find the rest of the pictures by following this link to my Zenfolio website. I’ve added nearly 300 old slides from 2000 and 2003 in the past few weeks, meaning there’s plenty to look at! I’ve still a couple of hundred pictures from 2003 to scan which I’m hoping to have done in the next couple of weeks. After that I’ll see which album next to be dug out of storage and added to the queue. There’s still plenty of slides from the 1990s to be done yet, therefore I may step further back in time for the next one…
In the meantime, expect plenty of new pictures to be added in the next few days. I’m working in both London and Birmingham on Wednesday, then returning to the capital at the weekend for quality time with old friends.
– well, sort of! I was actually up early as our cat insists that on a weekend it has the right to sleep on the bed. How it knows it’s the weekend we’ve never been able to work out, but the moggy can. This meant I was given an early morning alarm call when Jet decided he needed to be fed. As I’d given in to him and Dawn was happily sleeping I sloped off into the office to scan some more old slides I’d prepped.
With such an early Sunday start we both decided to ‘carpe diem’ and make the most of the day by having an early breakfast and going for a long walk through along the canal into Sowerby Bridge, then up through our local woodland (Scarr woods) which is looking superb at this time of year. What was lovely to see was the way some people place Halloween pumpkins in the woods, which can either delight – or scare the shit out of you!
Back at home we continued our productive time as Dawn got into ‘domestic Goddess’ mode in the kitchen to produce a fiery Thai Green Curry from scratch (no pre-prepared pastes here) plus a gorgeous Lemon Drizzle Cake. I spent my time on household DIY (yes, I know – the bathroom) before ploughing on with the never ending job of mounting and scanning more old slides. I’m currently doing an album from 2003 which contains a lot of stuff from Virgin Trains days. I’m looking forward to having them done now that the franchise is about to come to an end as it will be an appropriate tribute to a company that really did a lot to improve the image of the railways in the publics perception.
In the meantime, here’s one of the other slides I’ve been scanning. This is a view across London Waterloo taken from the London Eye back in 2003. The city’s skyline has changed a bit since then, as have the rail services. In those days the old BR built slam door stock was still in use and Waterloo International would be in use by Eurostar for another 4 years.
Welcome to yet another month where – despite the utterances and assurances of our liar of a Prime Minister, we haven’t left the EU, and he hasn’t been found dead in a ditch. I’m very happy for one of those tho continue. I’ll let you guess which.
Here in the Calder valley the weather’s not exactly been in a celebratory mood. For most of the day it’s been impossible to see the other side of the valley due to low cloud and rain, so I’ve spent much of it slaving away at my computer in the warm, catching up on paperwork and wading my way through scanning yet more old railway slides. I’ve finally finished another album, which feels like a positive achievement – albeit a small one as there’s still lots more to go. This one’s been from the turn of the century and the summer of 2000. It’s left me feeling rather nostalgic for several reasons. In those days I’d only been back from travelling the world for 6 months and I was just starting to make my way was a freelance photographer. The world was a very different place to the one it is now in so many ways. Anyways, here’s a small selection of the images. I’ll add caption details later. Right now (as it’s Friday) I’m off to the pub for a couple of hours…
Yes, it’s back – after a gap of nearly 18 months! To be honest, there’s been no point in doing one of these for two reasons. One is that there’s so few of these people left nowadays the field is pretty thin and two – the ones left are all pretty much crazy. If you don’t believe me, go and have a look at the comments from people posting on the StopHs2 Facebook page!
But I couldn’t resist resurrecting it after seeing this classic tweet from StopHs2 ‘Chair’ Penny Gaines which went out earlier today. It’s an absolute pearler! The levels of egotism and perspective failure are weapons-grade. Let’s take a look…
“I told them my vote will depend on whether they oppose Hs2” tweets Gaines. Well, I’m sure the canvasser who knocked on her door must be absolutely sick to death of hearing that said to them. Wait, where does Gaines live? That absolute hotbed of anti HS2 activity, otherwise known as err, Bournemouth…
Yes, Bournemouth. Now I don’t know which of the two constituencies she lives in (East or West) but I’m willing to bet that HS2 isn’t exactly high up on their list of concerns. Brexit? Absolutely. The NHS? Almost certainly – but not HS2!
So, how many people in the two constituencies signed that last daft and doomed StopHs2 petition? Here’s the results.
Wow! All of 31 eh? I’m sure that’ll really make Tobias Ellwood MP change his mind on HS2. Oh, wait, he’s a strong supporter of the project as he’s written here as recently as August 2019! Meanwhile, in Bournemouth West…
Oh dear, just 17 signatures, all of 0.016%. I’m sure that’s giving sitting MP Conor Burns and his canvassers sleepless nights! He’s been absent for the past couple of votes on HS2, but then he’s now a Government Minister, so the idea that he’ll vote against party policy is moonshine. It’s also worth mentioning he’s got a healthy majority!
This rubbish from Gaines does show one thing – why no-one takes what’s left of the anti HS2 grassroots campaign seriously anymore. They really are so divorced from reality it’s actually funny! Now we’re in the run-up to an election, expect to hear more nonsense like this as the few remaining antis bluster and try to puff out their chests and flex non-existent political muscle.
I’ve no doubt the election is going to be a fascinating night as I don’t think we’ve had one with these levels of political uncertainty for a very long time, but there’s one thing that isn’t going to be a factor in any of this and that’s HS2. Not in the Chilterns, and certainly not in Bournemouth!
At midnight, yet another StopHs2 turned into the inevitable pumpkin. After a frantic last minute ‘surge’ (well what passes for one in their eyes) it staggered over the finish line with 24,075 signatures, having gained less than 80 in the final 24 hours! The 2018 one managed 28,938. To say this is pathetic is an understatement, especially when you consider this is a national figure. The UK’s current population size is reckoned by the UN to be 67.53 million (as there’s been no UK census since 2011), which rather puts this figure into perspective, it’s just 0.03%. So much for HS2 being a ‘national’ issue! I’ll crunch the numbers here as they make interesting reading when you compare them to the results of the last time Joe Rukin tried one of these petitions back in 2017. I’ll analyse them in detail shortly, but first, let’s look at what conclusions we can draw.
StopHs2 really is just a ‘Nimby’ campaign
Yes, I know they’ve spent years denying this, pretending there’s widespread national opposition to HS2, but these petitions provide the statistics to prove that’s simply not the case. It’s why I love it when Rukin starts yet another one as they provide empirical evidence, not just rumour. These petitions log the number of signatures by Parliamentary constituency, giving a running total and percentage. Here’s the map for England. Those constituencies with the most signatures appear in a darker colour. Now, looking at that map, have a wild guess where Phase 1 of HS2 runs?
Sure, there’s signatures from other parts of the UK, after all, various Green groups and the Brexit party have publicised it amongst their supporters, but they’re statistically insignificant. The fact 4 people in Banff & Buchan in Scotland or 2 in West Tyrone in Northern Ireland have signed is neither here nor there, because 49.64% of all the petition signatures have come from just 9.6% of the UK’s 650 constituencies, the 63 that HS2 just happens to pass through…
Their ‘Grassroots’ campaign is dying
Their 2017 petition managed 28,398 signatures, this one’s only managed 24,075. As you’ll see from the numbers from the different phases, whilst the phase 1 signatures have decreased, the ones for phase 2a and the two phase 2b legs have collapsed. In some cases dramatically.
In reality, this petition is a last gasp from the Chilterns and other areas on phase 1 where minds have been focussed by the fact that workers and machinery are already on the ground, preparing for construction.
Another reason for the collapse is that – because this is essentially a ‘Nimby’ campaign, many of its supporters have been bought out and moved away in the past few years. HS2’s no longer an issue for them. This was always going to happen, but it’s accelerated as the number of homes purchased has accelerated. One only has to look around Euston, where the new homes built to house the people displaced by Hs2 works are now occupied and the old ones are being demolished. This is reflected in the number of signatures to the petition.
Once Phase 1 construction is fully underway, the StopHs2 campaign will fracture and what’s left of its national organisation will collapse
In many ways, this has already happened. Of the three ‘national’ groups, two have already collapsed. AGAHST (Action Groups Against HS2) went to the wall in 2015 and the HS2 ‘Action Alliance’ gave up in 2016. Both were Chiltern based. That leaves ‘StopHs2’ which is a bit of a joke to be honest. It’s Campaign Manager (and I use that term loosely) Joe Rukin runs it from his flat in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, whilst its Chair (of what? Ed) Penny Gaines now lives in Bournemouth! It has little relevance away from Phase1 other than to provide a few campaign materials and Joe’s occasional ‘rent a quotes’ to the national media. In the real world, they never has any involvement in the Phase 2a petitioning process, nor will they have in the phase 2b process when that finally gets off the ground. As much of their funding comes from Phase 1 Nimbys, we can expect that to dry up too. Of course, someone might be foolish enough to offer Joe Rukin a proper job, but he’s been looking for years and his CV isn’t exactly scintillating. Meanwhile, many local ‘action’ groups went to the wall years ago, leaving Facebook and Twitter littered with their remains like an old battlefield.
They still have no political support
10 years on, HS2 still commands enormous cross-party political support. In fact, this has grown, as can be seen the way Northern and Midlands leaders have become an increasingly loud voice in campaigns to ensure that HS2 is built in its entirety. Added to their are the powerful voices of business leaders up and down the country.
In contrast, what do StopHs2 have? A handful of MPs, mostly the same old faces like Cheryl Gillan, the Green Party and now The Brexit party, who are likely to emulate the ‘success’ of their leader’s last chariot for his ego – UKIP – who never managed to get a single MP – even by standing in the Chilterns…
Remember, all these people, along with ‘celebrity’ environmentalist Chris Packham all encouraged people to sign this petition. Packham alone has 356,000 Twitter followers, the Green Party 284,000 and the Brexit party 202,000 – yet they were all spectacularly unsuccessful in getting people to sign the petition. This is why, despite all the bluster you’re seeing from some Nimbys in the run up to the general election, HS2 simply isn’t an election issue.
Right, let’s crunch some numbers!
These are comparison of the signatures between yesterday and when the last petition closed after 6 months in March 2018. First up – phase 1. I’ve highlighted the increases on 2018.
The interesting thing here is that many of the increases are from such a low base number they’re insignificant, especially when you consider what percentage of constituents they are! Their ‘best’ result is in Chesham and Amersham, where long-standing opponent of HS2, Dame Cheryl Gillan MP holds sway. Even there they can’t get beyond 1.9% – and these are meant to be their heartlands! Kenilworth & Southam is their next best number where they have 1.6%, but as this is where Joe Rukin is that’s amazingly poor. Buckingham gets 1.5%, after that the numbers really start to drop.
2,570.105 live in the 23 constituencies phase 1 traverses. Just 0.36% of them have signed the petition – and these constituencies are meant to be the hot-bed of the Stophs2 campaign! Meridian’s the only interesting one, where their number have increased by 256%, but that’s still only 250 signatures and the total’s just 0.32% of all constituents!
Now for the phase 2 routes. First up is the leg to Manchester. This contains 18 constituencies and includes phase 2a to Crewe.
Their numbers here have plummeted by over 27%, in one notable case (Tatton) they’ve dropped by half! Tatton is one of the few places on the Manchester leg where there’s ever been an active ‘action’ group (Mid Cheshire) but even here they’re obviously struggling! Their ‘best’ result here is in Tatton, with a miserly 0.3%. It’s the only constituency off phase 1 that’s highlighted on the map in a darker colour.
Out of all 1,811.397 constituents, a measly 0.08% have signed the petition, down from 0.12% in 2018. Just like the other phases of HS2, it’s worth noting that what these figures show is that the StopHS2 ‘campaign’ get the vast majority of it’s tiny support from rural areas and has virtually bugger-all influence in the cities. There’s never been a single ‘action’ group in urban Birmingham, Leeds or Manchester.
Next up, the 18 constituencies on the phase 2 leg to Leeds, which produces some very interesting results…
The numbers signing have collapsed from 4793 in 2018 to just 1246 now. That’s a huge drop of 74%! Not a single constituency has registered a raise. Look at Rother Valley, down from 1650 to just 121, a drop of 92.6%! Hemsworth’s dropped by 73% and Bolsover by 69.1% whilst NW Leics is down 69.89%.
The route to Leeds was always an interesting one as the anti Hs2 campaign on that leg was always fractious and also full of bluster. They spent a lot of time fighting amongst themselves as some wanted Hs2 cancelling whilst others actually wanted Hs2 but fought against the final route selection. It also suffered from a fair few personalities who could best be described with the old expression, “all mouth and no trousers”! How quickly the ‘action’ groups have collapsed on the Leeds leg has surprised even me, but they’d sown the seeds of their own destruction right from the start.
So, what’s next for the stophs2 ‘campign’? Limbo. Now that a general election’s been called the Oakervee review is almost certainly going to be put on ice until afterwards. Of course, they could always resurrect their daft ‘no votes for you with HS2’ Twitter hashtag, but they’re firing blanks. They’re no political threat to anyone and the electorate has rather more pressing matters to vote on than building a new railway!
For reference, you can find a previous blog looking at the long failure of StopHs2 petitions here. There’s also this blog which crunched the numbers in their 2017-18 petition.