HS2 - December 2018

Tom Walsh, Wendover Parish Council  |  Published: Dec 1st 2018

You may well be noticing that HS2, as a project, is getting a fair amount of press coverage lately. Not much of it is good. The press have woken up to the fact that HS2 is ill conceived, poorly managed and likely to be scarily expensive. Confidence in a successful outcome for the project is hard to find when we talk to parliamentarians too. Alternative transport projects are being promoted actively as MPs realise that more people can benefit from much lower impact schemes that solve real problems in the existing transport infrastructure. 

Nash Lee

An example of the impractical and intransigent HS2 ltd approach to the project can be seen at Nash Lee. For over five years HS2 ltd have insisted that a haul road design of unbelievable incompetence was to be built. Any experienced engineer could look at the proposed layout and see it was too narrow, too near houses, the dump trucks couldn’t get around the corners and it needed a controlled crossing of Nash Lee Rd.EK the contractors took a very short time in dismissing the plan. Their solution is to run most of the haul on the “trace”, that is, the actual line of the railway, and to do away with much of the haul road. Where they do need the haul road they have widened it, smoothed out the bends and they take it over Nash Lee Rd on a temporary bridge. The result is that, after a totally unnecessary five years of distress, landowners, householders and motorists look like they will be spared HS2 Ltd’s planned chaos.

The Mined Tunnel proposal

WPC has received, through David Lidington MP, two letters from ministers with regards to our project. Nusrat Ghani, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Transport, has obviously looked at all of the points that we raised when we met with her recently. She generally pushes back at our proposal but, importantly, has requested that OTB, our tunnelling specialists, furnishes her department with their detailed workings out. We’re taking that as a positive. Both Nusrat Ghani and another letter from Chris Grayling offer little to encourage us but, and this is to me disappointing, they both appear to confuse Wendover’s scheme with legacy tunnelling proposals that came forward during the early days of the petitioning process. Hopefully direct access to OTB’s ideas will clarify things for them.

HS2 Engagement

HS2 ltd have been running drop in events for Wendover. I’d be very interested to hear what Wendover thinks of their efforts. Let me know, will you?
Your LettersI know that hundreds of you have written to your MP and Ministers to object to the Small Dean viaduct and to ask for a Mined Tunnel instead. If any of you hasn’t found the time yet, please do it now. Email david.lidington.mp@parliament.uk or nusrat.ghani.mp@parliament.uk.

With your help we can change minds.

Tom Walsh

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