SOWHAT is powered by volunteers from the local community who give their time to fight for our future, seeking to minimise the impact of HS2 on Oulton, Woodlesford and Swillington. By engaging with HS2, Leeds City Council, our MP, local Councillors, residents, businesses and other stakeholders, SOWHAT are seeking to secure better outcomes for our communities.

We are always pleased to welcome new volunteers, so if you can spare some time or have specific skills or expertise that could be useful to the campaign, please do get in touch. There are many different ways you can help, from engaging on social media, delivering flyers, reading and research, FOI requests, writing articles and many more.


SOWHAT continue to fight HS2 on multiple levels; together we are making a difference. The joint objectives are to:

  • STOP HS2 entirely – force Government to adopt a better and more sustainable solution
  • INFLUENCE route choice – minimise environmental impact, irrespective of Leeds City Council’s aspirations
  • MITIGATE impact – minimise destruction, disruption and intrusion both during construction and long term
  • COMPENSATE everyone – secure both full and fair compensation for all those affected by HS2

To achieve these aims we need to:

  • Attract, retain and maximise the skills of a diverse group of volunteers
  • Meaningfully engage and raise awareness with the wider community
  • Deliver a means of sustainable funding for the campaign

We must collectively fight on all fronts at the same time to ensure we secure the best possible outcomes for our future.

If we can’t stop it, or move it, they should tunnel it all (like Manchester) or fully compensate everyone.

The proposed route is totally unacceptable. We must all work together to demand that the whole route through our area be reconsidered without any regard to Leeds City Council’s aspirations to develop the South Bank.

HS2 should be abandoned, it can’t be justified at any level. Despite growing opposition, the Government (with three party support) is, however, still determined to press ahead. A large body of public pressure, with all our voices demanding that common sense prevails, is desperately needed.

The main committee meet regularly and are in constant communication to keep abreast of HS2 and LCC activities. The volume of material and misinformation produced by and about HS2 is immense. Staying up to date is a full time activity that can only be achieved through close collaboration.

If you have first hand knowledge of coal mining along the path of the four train tracks we would be grateful for your input.

Please click the links below to download minutes from our early committee meetings. For more recent activity, please get in touch and come to our meetings.

Committee notes 20th Feb 2013

Committee notes 13th Feb 2013

Committee notes 12th March 2013

Committee notes 27th March 2013

Committee notes 29th May 2013

Action Plan

Plan on a page – action plan for the committee