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Shuttle service helps anti-mining fight

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PROTESTERS HAVE stepped up their bid to block the mining of 900,000 tonnes of coal in Telford by setting up their own shuttle service to bus recruits to their makeshift camp. PROTESTERS HAVE stepped up their bid to block the mining of 900,000 tonnes of coal in Telford by setting up their own shuttle service to bus recruits to their makeshift camp. Residents living near to the site in Huntington Lane, in the shadow of The Wrekin, are helping the campaigners living at the camp by running the service using their own cars. They are picking up reinforcements from Telford train station and driving them to the camp. The shuttle service is one of a number of developments at the camp as the row over the proposals to mine rumbles on.

PROTESTERS HAVE stepped up their bid to block the mining of 900,000 tonnes of coal in Telford by setting up their own shuttle service to bus recruits to their makeshift camp.

Residents living near to the site in Huntington Lane, in the shadow of The Wrekin, are helping the campaigners living at the camp by running the service using their own cars.

They are picking up reinforcements from Telford train station and driving them to the camp.

The shuttle service is one of a number of developments at the camp as the row over the proposals to mine rumbles on.

The protesters set up the campsite last month to show their objections to UK Coal's intention to opencast mine at the site over a three-year period.

Secretary of State John Denham last October gave the proposal the go-ahead and, although diggers have already appeared on site, mining work is not scheduled to start until June or July.

Objectors say the 230 acre site, in an area of outstanding natural beauty, should not be touched.

The protest camp now has its own website at defendhuntingtonlane.wordpress.com

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There are currently about 25 campaigners permanently at the campsite but the numbers are swelled each weekend up to about 40.

Spokeswoman "Dawn" said: "We have a few local residents from Telford on board who have said they would pick recruits to the camp up from the train station and drive them over to us.

"They have already done it several times and the shuttle is proving very successful.

"Everyone is really getting stuck in with improving, building and scheming," she added.

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Stuart Oliver, spokesman for UK Coal, said that despite the protest, work would start on the site in June or July.

"We don't have any objections to people protesting as long as it's peaceful, non aggressive and does not hold up work on a scheme which has been approved through a democratic process," he added.

Mr Oliver confirmed that preparation work had already started on the site with the laying of power cables.

By Simon Hardy

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