Crowds gather as PM spotted at Wendover HS2 stand

Picture above by Jane Larkham. Images below by Gordon Findlay
Picture above by Jane Larkham. Images below by Gordon Findlay
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The Prime Minister was accosted by anti-HS2 campaigners as he walked through Wendover while shopping on Saturday.

After buying a gift for his mother from the Number One shop, he was spotted and called over by Rose Chisolm, who was manning a Stop HS2 stand.

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Then a crowd of more than 20 people gathered around Mr Cameron to ask him questions about the controversial £33 billion high speed train line – which will pass roughly 200 metres from where he was standing at the top of the High Street.

Ms Chisolm described the PM as ‘personable’, saying: “Several people raised issues of concern with him. His emphatic repetitive answer was that HS2 will definitely go ahead. But that it is our democratic right to do what we are doing.”

Jane Larkham, editor of the Wendover News website, said: “He was very engaging, He was talking with the people on the HS2 stall and he wasn’t trying to dismiss them.”

As campaigner Gordon Findlay walked past, he overheard someone say the Tory party was going to lose a lot of votes at the next election.

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He said: “I thought he must be a Conservative councillor, so gave him a glance. Then I realised I was standing right next to the Prime Minister.

“I agreed that he was going to lose a lot of votes and warned him that if HS2 goes ahead, as it’s so unpopular, he’s in very great danger of losing seats to UKIP.

“Mr Cameron was going on about needing a new line for additional capacity. I said that there are far better and cheaper alternatives to HS2.

“ But I then added that if HS2 does go ahead as planned, it’s ridiculous to have 100 miles of new track with not a single train stopping anywhere between London and Birmingham.

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“Mr Cameron said that high speed trains couldn’t stop as it would slow them down too much. I pointed out that the Frankfurt-Cologne high speed line is the same distance as London-Birmingham and yet the Germans have managed two interim stations. He appeared surprised by that.”

Mr Findlay, of Wendover, said it was ‘refreshing’ that the PM spent time with campaigners, reflecting ‘that’s more than can be said for any of the various transport secretaries who have been in charge of the project’.

Activist Sandra Tuppen said: “We’re pleased that David Cameron stayed for several minutes to discuss the issues with campaigners. I hope he will reflect on the massive cost of this vanity project.”