Lichfield 26/06/21 – Wigan 03/07/21
On Saturday 26th June, a diverse group of people from across the country will embark on The Truth Trail – a 100 mile walk from Lichfield to Wigan, following the north-western section of HS2 Phase 2a and 2b.
The Truth Trail has been planned and organised by Stop HS2 (North) with the support of the wider anti-HS2 movement, including HS2 Rebellion and Stop HS2.
The aim of this trail is to spread awareness about the true impacts of HS2 along its proposed route, uniting those who have already witnessed HS2’s impacts in the South, with those soon to be affected in the Midlands and North of England.
Why are we doing The Truth Trail?
A spokesperson for The Truth Trail, Alan from Wigan, said, “We are undertaking this 100 mile Truth Trail to raise awareness of the disruption and ruin which is threatening communities further north. Many of us have seen or experienced first-hand the devastating effect that HS2 has on the communities it passes through.
“By sharing our knowledge and experience, we hope that those areas under threat from Phase 2a and 2b will be better able to defend themselves, their homes, businesses and natural environment from HS2.
“HS2 is an ecocidal, concrete nightmate. HS2 has already begun tearing a scar through the heart of our green and pleasant land, terrorising local people and turning precious ancient woodlands, vital green spaces and residential areas into barren sites of devastation.
“The budget continues to spiral out of control – a figure of £200Billion was used in the House of Lords, Phase 2a debate before Christmas. In comparison, Boris Johnson claimed he can build 40 new hospitals for £3.7billion. As we start to pay back the cost of Covid and office workers adjust to a new normal of working from home, it is time for the government to adapt and invest in a truly green recovery.
“HS2 fails on its own terms. There is nothing sustainable about cutting down woodlands to construct a glorified airport shuttle service, which only the rich will be able to afford a ticket to use.
“HS2 does nothing to help the communities that it will devastate as it races to the next big city. As we have seen from high speed rail links in other countries, the money flows away from the satellite cities and provincial towns towards the biggest centre. HS2 will not level-up the north; it will be London that gains the most.
“An investment in high speed internet, local transport links, and re-wilding projects would achieve much of what HS2 claims to, and at a fraction of the cost.
“We are in a climate emergency. The government has pledged we will be carbon neutral by 2050, which is itself already too late. But HS2 will not be completed until the 2040s and will never be carbon neutral. In the meantime, the damage caused by its construction will actively harm our ability to sequester carbon and improve biodiversity.
“We do not have any more time. We need to stop HS2 and we need to unite different communities, towns and cities to do so. Or else, we will all be going high speed 2 environmental and societal collapse.”
Objectives and Outreach
To further this aim, an outreach group including artists, musicians and environmentalists from across the country will be following the trail of walkers, stopping twice daily along the route to speak and interact with communities.
Activities will take place from midday in community hubs such as local greens and town centres and again each evening in sites such as pubs and town halls. Maps and locations of key stops and outreach events can be found here.
Learning, conversation and collaboration will be delivered through a diverse week-long programme of talks, workshops, film, performance, art, music and more. Creative outreach activities will be facilitated by the environmental arts group Undergrowth Collective. We invite everyone to join us to share and record your stories about the communities and green spaces HS2 has already impacted and those it intends to.
As construction of HS2 is not due to be completed for more than 20 years, it is vital that people are warned of the true disruption that they will live alongside for at least the next two decades, as well as the permanent impacts of HS2 to local lives, businesses and natural environments.
Amongst the walkers and outreach group will be ecological experts and experienced campaigners, who have seen first-hand the damage wrought by HS2 in the South and Midlands. This includes MPs, Councillors, environmentalists, activists and filmmakers.
We will also be meeting up with other groups and communities along the route to walk in solidarity and highlight the fact that this is about more than just a trainline. The struggle for environmental, social, racial, and gender equality and justice is all one fight.
On the Trail
The Truth Trail is a family friendly event and open to everyone, although please be aware some days will be longer than others. The route has been based as closely as possible around public transport links to provide everyone the opportunity to join for as long, or as little as they are able. Families are actively encouraged to join daytime and evening outreach activities, as well as to walk manageable sections of the trail.
Daily walks are expected to be between 10-16 miles long, but need not be walked in full. People are welcome to join the trail for as little, or as long as they would like.
Those walking the route represent a diverse background, united by a common concern for the destruction, disruption and waste that HS2 threatens to inflict.
Throughout the week there will be representatives present from:
• Stop HS2;
• HS2 Rebellion;
• Members of Parliament, Councillors and politicians;
• Local communities who will be affected by construction;
• Victims of HS2’s actions in the South and Midlands;
• Progressive groups who walk with us in solidarity to recognise the dangers HS2 in the context of wider inequality, injustice, and societal collapse;
• Extinction Rebellion;
• Local and national environmental organisations and charities; and
• Some special guests yet to be announced.
The proposed route will take us through:
Lichfield – Rugeley – Great Haywood – Stone – Swynnerton – Madeley – Crewe – Middlewich – Northwich – Plumley – Lymm – Warburton – Lowton – Culcheth – Glazebrook – Wigan – Manchester
Day one – Lichfield – Great Haywood
Day two – Great Haywood – Swynnerton
Day three – Swynnerton – Madeley
Day four – Madeley – Crewe
Day five – Crewe – Tabley
Day six – Tabley – Glazebrook
Day seven – Glazebrook – Culcheth
Day eight – Culcheth – Wigan
Why Stop HS2?
HS2 is the most expensive railway project the world has ever seen
HS2 will irreparably destroy or damage 108 ancient woodlands
HS2 will never be carbon neutral during its 120 year lifespan
HS2 will cost taxpayers more than £6,600 each
HS2 will end up costing the government over £200bn
HS2 will displace thousands of jobs and residential areas
HS2 Ltd and private security companies have used violence against protesters
To cover our basic costs of shelter, sustenance and outreach materials, we have set up a fundraiser. https://uk.gofundme.com/f/truth-trail-stop-hs2-north