HS2 - Local & National News

Compiled with the aid of Andrea Polden's daily HS2 News digest

For National HS2 news, visit the Stop HS2 News pages,
the Google HS2 news feed,
& the Stop HS2 "TV station" on YouTube

Local news ( from the Bucks Examiner ) here .. with luck


New Reports -

Phase 1 planning forum - Minutes of the January meeting, released in a timely fashion on 15th May.

Independent Construction Commissioner - fourth report, and response from HS2



Recent Meetings

  • Chilterns Liaison forum (26th March), Chess Association (20th March) - see Meetings
  • Denham meeting - 28th March, commentary


Forestry Commission get £450K grant from HS2 community fund

(Lets keep it in the family). The Community Engagement Fund gave the grant towards the £4.45m redevelopment of Wendover Woods, enabling Nusrat Ghani (the HS2 minister) to get out into the countryside, before her department start ruining it. She said

"Whilst we know there will be disruption as we deliver one of Europe’s biggest infrastructure projects, we are absolutely committed to minimising the effects of building the new railway."

( so long as it doesn't cost more, for example by putting it in a tunnel )

HS2 preparation works expenditure (2016-17) - £6.6m / week


HS4Air – “An M25 for high speed trains”

HS4Air (High Speed for Air) is a proposed strategic high-speed rail/air connection in south east England developed by Expedition ...

"Hi Chris - remember that High Speed Rail Line ? Seems we forgot to connect it up to the other one - you know, goes through the tunnel thingy to France. You don't happen to have another £10bn to spare, do you, so we can bodge something up ?"

"No, no - it wasn't us, it was that prat Adonis"


Another few billion ?

" Some say that if individuals choose to live in rural areas, where broadband provision and mobile phone coverage may cost more, that choice should not be “subsidised” by others in urban areas. To which I say, but where do the urban dwellers get their food from, who keeps the countryside beautiful for them, who protects the landscape, keeps our nation’s green lungs breathing, who maintains the health, beauty and balance of nature for future generations? The people in rural areas who are currently being deprived an important service so many take for granted and need it now.

We’re planning to spend north of £60 billion on HS2, 30 times as much as it would cost to provide universal superfast broadband for everyone in the country."

(Secretary of State Michael Gove at the NFU Farming Conference 2018 - transcript)

Jon Bartley (Green Party) asks Chris Grayling what happened to the official £55.7 Bn estimate ? It cant have gone up again, can it ?


Injunction against Harvil Road protest

See HS2Watch page with link to GoFundMe - support the protest !


Carillion replaced

Following the total collapse of one of Britain’s largest contractors, Carillion, Kier and Eiffage have picked up its HS2 work. (more...)


Colne Valley Viaduct concepts released

HS2 Ltd today revealed an outline concept for the Colne Valley viaduct, published as a specimen design. No public consultation, and more concern for the view of the passengers than for the Noise impact on the valley (more...).


End of year roundup


HS2 Redundancy Payments swindle

HS2 waste £1.76m on unauthorised payments - but what about the other £55bn ?


Lorries seven times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes
on local roads than cars

New figures show that heavy goods vehicles are now twice as likely to be involved in a fatal collision on local roads than they were ten years ago ... more


Environmentally Sensitive Worksites - FOI request

(Thanks to Robert Smith & WhatDoTheyKnow )

As part of the LEMPs the Environmental Memorandum requires the NU to prepare site specific management plans for 'Key Environmentally Sensitive Worksites'" (thats us, folks) - When will HS2 publish these Site Specific Management Plans for the five identified Environmentally Sensitive Sites ?


As provided above, the draft plans are currently going through consultation with stakeholders such as the Environment Agency, Historic England and Natural England and are therefore unfinished documents. It is in the public interest that the consultation process is able to conclude before making information available in an unfinished form. Additionally, as the information is of interest to the wider public it is important it can be accessed simultaneously by the general public rather than piecemeal by disclosure to a small number of individuals under the EIR. The final plans will be published on the GOV.UK website before the end of the year. 

Dont consult us - we only live here


Newsletter from HS2 Amersham


Protest at Harvil Road, Denham

See HS2Watch for details


Trouble at Aquifer ?

Who broke the chalk ?


Petition: Cancel HS2 immediately and repeal the 2013 and 2017 High Speed Rail Acts.

HS2 is a vanity project, lobbied for by the firms who will make billions out of building it, at a time of continued austerity and cuts to essential services. Independent economists, rail experts and environmentalists have all heavily criticised the project, but Governments have refused to listen.

Petition to Parliament - please sign here


National Grid - Consultation (ends 25-Aug)

A chance to vote for underground cables - more...


HS2 Watch launched

HS2 Watch exists to monitor the construction of HS2 in the Chilterns AONB, to collect information about works in progress, and to support anybody wishing to complain about the conduct of HS2 or their contractors. (Hopefully this last function will prove entirely unnecessary). Complaints will be directed to the official HS2 channels, but HS2Watch will look out for any common features which may require further action.

Contact HS2Watch here if you have any information about construction works in the AONB or Colne Valley.


Impact of HS2 in the Chilterns - Talk

Free presentation available to local groups - more...


Chiltern Society meeting with HS2

To discuss the River Misbourne and the aquifer - notes , and a geology lesson.


Phase 1 Contracts Awarded

The Phase 1 contract and Phase 2 route decisions were announced in a written statement on 17th July. Following a request from Cheryl Gillan, Chris was forced to come to the house at 10pm (way past his bedtime) to allow the matter to be examined, and issue a further (oral) statement. The statement was welcomed by Lord Adonis (all you need to know ?).

Details of the Chilterns contracts can be found here.

While Michael Byng reports that the final cost of Phase 1 may reach £104 billion, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has said it is “incredible, inconceivable and simply nonsense” to suggest the cost of HS2 is set to spiral.So that's all right then ?


Local Environmental Management Plans

These plans set out the site-specific control measures for HS2 contractors working within local authorities along the Phase One route.

There is one for Chiltern & Wycombe District :-

14.3.1 Temporary and permanent road closures and diversions of the following roads will likely be required:

a permanent realignment of B485 Chesham Road, including the associated realignment of King's Lane and provision of a roundabout junction with Chesham Road. Part of the existing King’s Lane alignment will be stopped up. Local access to 86 King's Lane will be retained;

This was dropped after the AP4 extension of the Chilterns Tunnel to South Heath

16.4.6 Groundwater from dewatering at vent shafts will be discharged back into the groundwater via recharge wells within the vicinity of the vent shaft. In the event that a technical constraint is identified at the detailed design stage, provision has been made to transfer some discharge by pipeline into the River Misbourne near each shaft.

I don't recall this being in the Environmental Statement


Great Missenden meeting (9th June)

Public meeting held on 9th June, with presentations from Bucks CC, Great Missenden Parish Council and HS2 Ltd


The Party Manifestos

What do they say about HS2, Green Belt, AONBs and the Environment ? See our 2017 Manifesto page.
(UKIP & Greens still awaited)


HS2 the least popular Conservative policy

Persisting with HS2 was ranked last in the Conservative Home "potential policy survey", just below continuing to spend 0.7% on foreign aid. See comments from Stop HS2.

How can this be ? See HS2AA for a few reasons why HS2 should be dropped.


Elections ? Again ??

Must be time for a new manifesto. There are rumors that the conservative commitment to HS2 may not figure in the new document (Express, Guardian) - although these have been denied by the usual suspects (see StopHS2).

Can we give it a nudge in the right direction ? Yes - complete this survey of voters priorities, and give HS2 a zero rating. ( You might feel that McLoughlin, Hammond & Greening deserve a kick in passing ). But hurry - they will need to publish it soon.


What's that smell ?

Transport Select Committee to question Grayling & Higgins about the CH2M self-awarded contract.


HS2 Bill receives Royal Assent

Well we tried...

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