HS2 protests at west London site costing millions, judge told

HS2 bosses have told a judge that continued protests by campaigners opposed to the high-speed rail line running through a woodland area in west London are costing millions of pounds.

A lawyer representing HS2 told Judge David Holland about “relentless” incidents.

Barrister Tom Roscoe said the costs of delay and security were in the region of £16 million.

Judge Holland made an order banning unlawful protest activities in and around a construction site in Hillingdon in May 2019.

But Mr Roscoe said protest had continued.

He said HS2 bosses wanted further orders preventing unlawful protest on land in their possession.

The judge is expected to consider making further orders at a hearing in the near future.

Mr Roscoe gave detail of costs at a preliminary virtual, hearing on Monday.

“The big problem is the sheer number of these incidents,” said Mr Roscoe. “It is relentless.”

He said the consequences were very serious and added: “The delay and additional security costs caused by these protests is in the region of £16 million.”

A barrister representing a campaigner involved told the judge that describing HS2 as “controversial” was an “understatement”.

Sailesh Mehta said there was “huge public opposition”.

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