HS2 campaigners face down rail chief at Yorkshire Mafia event in Leeds

The proposed HS2 route will cut a swathe through parts of Yorkshire
The proposed HS2 route will cut a swathe through parts of Yorkshire
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RESIDENTS will stage a protest against the planned HS2 Leeds to London high speed rail link as the chief executive of the firm behind the project visits Yorkshire today.

Up to 50 campaigners from south and east Leeds, Church Fenton and Altofts, will bring banners and placards to the Royal Armouries in Clarence Dock, before chief executive of HS2 Ltd Alison Munro speaks at the Yorkshire Mafia business event.

Ms Munro, who will speak about the high speed rail scheme’s business benefits to the region at the event, is understood to have agreed to post-conference meetings with Leeds councillors and Tom Riordan, Leeds City Council’s chief executive.

James Lynch, from the Swillington, Oulton, Woodlesford, HS2, Action Together (SOWHAT) group that is planning the protest, fears his Woodlesford home could be impacted by a planned 60ft-high rail viaduct.

He said: “It’s not all good news for Leeds. We want to get across that it’s already cost Leeds millions of pounds in lost value to the housing market and that seems to be forgotten.”

Mr Lynch said most residents don’t qualify for the HS2 compensation scheme, while homeowners are losing value on their homes and face being unable to sell properties due to the scheme.

Coun David Nagle (Lab, Rothwell), who will meet Ms Munro with ward colleague Coun Karen Bruce, said: “What is needed is for a representative of HS2 to come to Woodlesford and speak with the residents impacted and we will be demanding that.”

Coun Stewart Golton (Lib Dem, Rothwell) said: “Hopefully the meeting and the demonstration will combine to emphasise to HS2 Ltd the seriousness of our intentions to fight for a fair deal for Woodlesford residents.”

In February HS2 Ltd director of external and parliamentary relations Clinton Leeks said consultation is being brought forward to start later this year.