HS2 accused of brainwashing schoolchildren on high-speed rail route

The company behind the HS2 rail project has been accused of using Orwellian propaganda tactics after it awarded a £280,000 contract to promote the high-speed rail project to children at primary schools on the proposed route.

HS2 Ltd has contracted London-based Hopscotch Consulting to develop an education programme aimed at young children.

Primary schools near the route have received an email from Hopscotch inviting them to “come aboard Zoom Rail, HS2’s Primary School Engagement Programme”.

Materials for teachers from HS2 Ltd’s existing education programme, seen by the Guardian, include an exercise that encourages pupils to assess four possible routes for the “Zoom Rail project”.

“With no perfect answer, students must weigh the competing advantages and disadvantages, balancing community, environmental and economic factors to make the best choice,” the task description for teachers reads.

“One of the four options – Route D – is the preferred route. This is not the only acceptable ‘right answer’. However, students who have closely understood the opportunities and constraints faced by Zoom Rail as it tries to strike the best balance are more likely to opt for the preferred route.”

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