The beacon at Lower Thorpe Mandeville was one of about 30 such bonfires lighting up the countryside along the proposed route of the High Speed Rail Link between London and the West Midlands, in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Staffordshire. Read more about the beacons on the STOPHS2 website.
Despite the cold, wet weather around a hundred people attended the beacon lighting at Lower Thorpe.
The demonstration was against a proposal for an all new, non-stop, high speed rail link in two phases – London to Birmingham and then Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester. The line would have a capacity of 36 trains per hour travelling at up to 250mph/400kph, running from 5 am to midnight. If given the go ahead, the line is expected to be operational by 2025.
The line of the route between the villages of Sulgrave, Greatworth and Thorpe Mandeville is shown on the map below:
The line would pass within 200 metres of the nearest houses in Greatworth, 350 metres of those in Thorpe Mandeville and 1400 metres of those in Sulgrave. It would pass through the middle of Lower Thorpe.
The following map is an extract from the Department for Transport Route Map, tilted so that the orientation is north-south. It gives details of the lengths of the proposed line which would be in cutting, at ground level, on viaduct and so on, together with details of the proposed bridges.
The demonstration was organised by StopHS2, which has two objectives:
1. To persuade the government to scrap the HS2 proposal
2. To facilitate local and national campaigning against HS2.
An editorial in yesterday’s Financial Times (27th Feb 2011) cast grave doubts on the financial case for this high speed link.