HS2 Ltd has legal possession of the land at Euston Square Gardens. The illegal occupation on and under this land is entering its sixth day, putting unnecessary strain on the emergency services during the covid pandemic.
To make matters worse, activists have been spreading false claims of mistreatment by the diligent HS2 and emergency service personnel who are working around the clock to ensure their safety, and encouraging their followers to make calls to 999, which is irresponsible during the current national lockdown and also unnecessary.
The safety of people trespassing and the safety of HS2 staff and agents in this operation is of paramount importance. We are doing all we can to end this illegal action quickly and safely, including providing those underground with air – despite claims to the contrary. HS2 has legal possession of this land, therefore the High Court Enforcement Officers are lawfully empowered to remove illegal trespassers using minimum force at this time. Our message is however that those in the tunnels should come out now for their own safety.
It is forecast to rain regularly over the next 48 hours and we have repeatedly raised concerns to the activists that their crude tunnels are simply not equipped to deal with these weather conditions.
If the reports are accurate and there is also at least one minor stuck underground, we firmly reiterate our message: please, come out from the tunnels immediately, and stop putting your lives, the lives of children and those of the emergency services at risk.
· HS2 Ltd served notice on the London Borough of Camden, TfL and Network Rail under Schedule 16 in mid-December to allow HS2 to take temporary possession of the land. The notice periods have run out so HS2 is legally entitled to possession of the land at this time. HS2 Ltd exercised its right to possession on Wednesday 27th January.
· High Court Enforcement Officers can lawfully remove trespassers from land acquired by HS2 Ltd and are able to use minimum force to do this under powers granted by the High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Act 2017.
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