• Wendover Parish Council

September | HS2 Update

A Fresh Start? Wendover PC, with our lobbyist, are taking the change of government personnel as a new opportunity to push for the Mined Tunnel. Letters have gone out to all of the new players laying out the evidence that the tunnel is Cheaper, Quicker and Simpler. Paul Maynard MP is the new Rail Minister and Grant Shapps MP is Minister for Transport. At DfT/HS2, reviews are in hand and costs are coming into focus and I’m hopeful that if intelligent thought takes the place of dogmatic intransigence then the logic of a Wendover Tunnel will be considered fairly.


Cost: Wendover has always pointed out that HS2 had cost issues. It appears that government and the new Chairman of HS2 Ltd have now caught up with us and agree that the DfT’s budget of £55.7bn is pie in the sky.


Investigation: The Serious Fraud Office are investigating HS2 compensation practices. If you have felt short changed in your dealings with HS2 why not send your evidence to them?


Find out more at stophs2.org


HS2 Complaints System: How is this fit for purpose? One of the cornerstones of HS2, and its “good neighbourliness” claim could be the effective and sensitive way it deals with complaints. I’m afraid though that’s it’s just another epic fail from HS2 Ltd.


You won’t be surprised to hear, that in WPC’s experience, HS2’s complaints system is not fit for purpose. We currently have 5 complaints going through the HS2 complaints process, none of which has been dealt with in a timely or an organised fashion. One of them is a complaint about the time it’s taken to deal with our complaints and it’s late too.


I’m bringing this to your attention for a reason. When/If HS2 goes active many people in Wendover will no doubt find reason to use the complaints process. Complaint appears to be the only way for us to be heard on subjects ranging from objections to planning applications, construction noise and dust, traffic hold ups and environmental issues. No matter how useless HS2 are at dealing with complaints I don’t want people to give up.


We should take every opportunity to hold HS2 to the process and timetables that they told Parliament could be achieved. If they fail you, complain about that failure too.


The HS2 project was voted through based on technical and procedural argument that was plausible enough to satisfy MPs. In practice it’s becoming more and more apparent that it was a hit and hope exercise and that it is failing to satisfy the expectations of us, the blighted and, increasingly, the thinking parliamentarians.


Tom Walsh

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