Conference for HS2 alternatives

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Campaigners against a controversial high-speed rail link will hold a conference to discuss alternatives to the scheme.

Wakefield Council and Yorkshire Against HS2 will host the event at the town hall on Friday, March 3.

Opponents to HS2 say the £55bn scheme is a waste of money which would harm wildlife and carve up the district’s towns and villages.

The conference was organised after HS2 bosses faced criticism over information events it organised for people affected by the scheme.

An event on Monday for people in Crofton was moved from the village hall to the Cedar Court Hotel, on the other side of the city, at short notice.

Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett said: “HS2 Ltd knew they would face anger from residents whose local area will be destroyed by the route, but now they will face a fresh wave of anger from those who rightly feel their voices are being ignored.”

HS2 Ltd arranged free buses to and from the Cedar Court.

A spokeswoman said: “Moving to a larger venue outside of Crofton village will ensure as many residents as possible are given the opportunity to have their questions answered.”

Events were also held at Normanton Golf Club, Hatfeild Hall, Stanley, and Burntwood Court Hotel, Brierley.

Paul Dainton, who went to the Stanley event, said HS2 representatives would not answer his questions. He said: “Surely a consultation works both ways.

“As tax payers we are paying for this.”

HS2’s Paul Griffiths said: “We are committed to working with local communities as we develop the HS2 route and are putting on these events to help people understand the project in more detail, so they can submit an informed response to the consultations.”