HS2 Update for September 2011

  |  Published: Sep 16th 2011

New website launched to fight HS2

A new website to help people email their MP quickly and easily about HS2 has just been launched at www.highspeedrail.org.uk As well as using this to send a message to Mr Lidington, please ask your friends and family across the country to use it to send a quick message to their MP. All MPs will eventually have to vote on HS2 and it is crucial that they start receiving emails and letters about it from their own constituents.

Stop HS2 Information Centre

The Stop HS2 Information Centre has moved to new premises in Back Street, opposite Borders / Aces High. It will be open 10.30am to 1pm each Saturday. There will be ongoing fund raising events. The first will be a White Elephant Stall and petition signing opportunity at the Local Produce Market on Saturday 17 September.

The Wendover Society

Response to HS2 consultation

The Wendover Society has submitted a robust and detailed response to the public consultation on HS2. The Society concentrated on drawing full attention to the damaging effects on Wendover if the Government approves the proposed route. A wide range of issues is covered, from the effects of noise on our community life style and health to the likely losses in property values. The Society has described the serious effects on local businesses arising from the major reduction in tourism that would be caused by the current proposal.

The submission also highlights the impracticality and high costs of the proposed closure of the Ellesborough Road and the proposed new diversion road that would take traffic out towards the bypass roundabout and then back into Wendover along South Street. Emphasis is placed on the disruption that this proposal would cause to the village and to neighbouring areas. Reference is also made to a variety of other negative effects on communal life such as the visual impact of the line on our landscape and the need to relocate the Wendover Cricket Club's main ground.

The Society's response states that if the proposed route is approved the best way to protect Wendover, and at the same time avoid significant construction and social costs, would be to implement the bored tunnel that was included in the HS2 Ltd line mitigation report of November 2010 but not approved by the Government. The Society's submission includes a detailed account of major cost savings that would result from constructing the tunnel and thus dramatically reduce its incremental cost. The Wendover Society is grateful to a number of qualified professionals who have, without charge, provided written expert evidence in support of the case for mitigation.

Whilst the Government considers the various responses to the Consultation the Wendover Society will endeavour to ensure that its views are understood and incorporated within the Government's decision on HS2, expected to be announced before the end of this year.
Mike Beard

HS2? - Not in my Chilterns-

Proud to be a 'nimChi'

There is nothing wrong with fighting to preserve our local Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty -we owe it to future generations of Chiltern dwellers and visitors to make our case against the current preferred HS2 route.

We should not rely too much on rubbishing the business case. Of course this examination is valid and has exposed the many flaws in their case.

But U.K history is littered with examples of infrastructure developments with weak business cases that were ultimately supported by parliament in the name of progress, the channel tunnel/HS1 is one example.

Realistically, the case for an HS2, as such, will probably get majority support in parliament sooner or later and it is not enough to get the project pushed onto the back burner, only to return when the economy improves.

The proposed route of the HS2 is what we are fighting against, the route should go round or under the Chilterns - we nimChies simply want to preserve what we have.

Now that the government has commissioned the work to include Manchester/Leeds/Liverpool/East Midlands/SouthYorks the optimum orientation of the route has changed and will need to take into account serving an additional total population of over 6million the centre of which on a straight line to London is orientated further east than the 2mil. of Birmingham. In the light of this HS2 need to look again at alternative routes, when all this kind of work was done for our motorway network several decades ago the solution started with the M1 and perhaps that is the corridor they should be looking at. Surely it makes sense to orientate the network to 75% of potential users.

In Wendover we not only have the prospect of a completely spoilt local AONB but also face a considerable increase in noise level. The consultation noise modelling only takes into account the increase in Railway noise (ref, Appraisal of Sustainability Appendix 5 doc. 5.3.3). If the considerable road by-pass noise is added into the equation, (even with the improvements below), the entire village will be well above the W.H.O recommendation level of 50 dbALeq maximum for total noise exposure at peak times.

(of course it is time to do something about the by-pass noise anyway, the next resurfacing should be with a modern asphalt rather that the current noisy aggregate surface, this combined with a speed reduction from 60 to 50 mph would reduce noise to less than one quarter of the current level.-ref. UKNA)

Finally ,if there really needs to be an HS2 and it really needs to come next to Wendover it must go through a tunnel ,this would increase the total budgeted cost by less than 1%.
But the key message to the Consultation is still 'not in my Chilterns' ,
- be a nimChi.-

Colin Bryant

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