AN environmental group staged a protest against HS2 in the form of a white elephant.

Members of Extinction Rebellion dressed up in a white elephant costume and walked around the city centre.

It is part of the group's campaign which was launched by Chris Packham, TV naturalist and presenter, to stop High Speed Rail 2.

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Supporters of Extinction Rebellion in Oxfordshire have been amongst those actively involved in campaigning against what they believe to be 'the most environmentally-damaging development' as they say it will destroy 108 ancient woodlands and add to carbon emissions over time.

Jessica Upton from Extinction Rebellion Oxford, said: “I’m very pleased to hear Chris Packham announce a petition to get HS2 stopped.

"The money being squandered on the white elephant that is HS2 should be used for re-opening disused lines (eg from Oxford to Witney) and the full electrification of the rail system. Public transport use is very low at present and the Government needs to be putting in place better public transport options for after the Covid crisis.

"It should not be funnelling the funds into environmentally destructive high speed train line. Our Oxfordshire community has very limited use for HS2 yet our taxes are paying a heavy price towards it.

"Estimates of eventual cost suggest that HS2 could cost over £100bn or over £300 million per mile of track.”

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