HS2 June Update
June is a busy month for the Wendover Parish Council HS2 team. We are addressing issues raised by Nusrat Ghani MP in the latest negative response from the DfT.
They still refuse to put up an expert to meet and to show us why our Mined Tunnel won’t work. In fact, they’ve now accepted that it’s a basis for a workable design, but they say that the Bill won’t allow variations and there’s no way to do the environmental impact assessment changes. Of course if you read the Bill it seems pretty flexible, well when HS2 want it to be it is, and if you look at the horrifying and permanent destruction that HS2 currently proposes for our area, I’d say that using any excuse with the word “environmental” in it looks like bare faced cheek.
Wendover has been able to submit evidence, on HS2, to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) session with the DfT. You can read our submission here https://www.wendover-pc.gov.uk/post/written-evidence-for-the-public-accounts-committee. This is a significant step forward for WPC. We understand that the PAC already has serious concerns regarding HS2 costs and their management capabilities.
HS2’s Operational Noise is back on the agenda. Many people in Wendover were unconvinced by the original Noise Model carried out by HS2 Ltd. It showed that hundreds of houses would be adversely affected by train noise. So, it came as no surprise when EK, the contractor charged with designing the railway, were equally unconvinced and remodelled the whole thing. We are having separate meetings with both HS2 and EK on noise this month.
WPC is working with Ellesborough PC and Stoke Mandeville PC to focus on matters to the north of our village. We are waiting for a briefing from HS2/EK. Then we will be cooperating in arranging a public event to discuss matters that affect the residents of all three parishes. We’ll keep you posted on that.
We have meetings arranged with Lord Berkeley and Rachael Maskell MP as we continue to promote the Wendover Mined Tunnel in Westminster.
The Tax Payers Alliance is no friend of HS2. In a meeting that WPC had with them late last year, we discussed a plan to draw attention to the large number of alternative transport projects that could be funded by the HS2 budget channel more effectively. The result is “The Great British Transport Competition”. Its report was launched by David Davis MP and shows how if the HS2 billions were invested in a better way, the benefits to the north could be realised and additionally many other areas transport priorities could be addressed too. Surely the best outcome for the most people should be the objective. Read more about it at www.taxpayersalliance.com.
WPC’s team are also working with Wendover HS2, who are doing good things on issues surrounding the Small Dean viaducts strangulation of the A413.