Elephant

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

2020 News >>>

12-Jan-2022

Put on your Green tinted specs, its the Environmental Sustainability report -

April 2020-March 2021. 9 months to make it look halfway presentable ? Obviously, its all going really well, the badgers are really pleased to leave their smelly old setts for HS2. Bats - 2 mentions, Green Bridges - none (we forgot to build any ...) Jones Hill Wood ? see p20

01-Jan-2022

A happy and uneventful new year to you all -

- where reasonably practical.

22-Dec-2021

HS2 Planning Forum - September

(Minutes just released, doesnt pay to rush these things ...) Page 5, para. 4 :-

"[HS2] presented an update on the status of appeals demonstrating the time required for determination noting that the majority of appeal decisions are taking longer than is set out in the guidance. This has led to programme delays, most recently as a result of delays in receiving appeal decisions relating to lorry routes in Bucks. [HS2] noted that the PINS target for a written representation appeal is 67 days.
[HS2] noted that HS2 needed to improve the quantity of the submissions and noted that a consents working group has been set up within HS2 to capture lessons learnt and improve performance. noted that every delay in receiving a decision results in an element of disruption and cost. [HS2] questioned what the Planning Forum can do to reduce the number and impact of delayed decisions. "

Design Panel reports -

Chalfont St Peter & St Giles, headhouse designs, schedule 17 reports ...

"The Council also noted its concerns relating to the proposed changes to Bottom House Farm Lane (which will not be used for construction but will be provide the permanent access route to the site). This will not form part of these Schedule 17 submissions." Surely some mistake - why else have Fusion spent a couple of years wrecking it ?

18-Dec-2021

Chiltern Tunnel Mitigation

Despite the failure of the campaign to obtain a Judicial Review, the Chiltern Society are continuing to press the Environment Agency regarding their supervision of the project - or lack of it.

HS2 works

HS2 have laid out the treats in store for the coming year in their North Chilterns newsletter; see HS2watch for a list of current and planned works

15-Dec-2021

DfT written questions

To ask Her Majesty's Government which parts of HS2 Phase 2B have been cancelled. (Lord Berkeley)

"As set out in the Integrated Rail Plan we will take forward the Phase 2b Western Leg. We will also progress a new high speed line to the East Midlands and electrify the Midland Mainline, enabling HS2 trains reach Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield." (Baroness Vere) That would be the eastern leg, then ?

... whether a cost-benefit analysis was undertaken for (1) the Eastern leg of HS2, and (2) HS2 Phase 2B West, prior to their decision to cancel those rail projects; and whether they will publish the financial analysis which was undertaken prior that decision. (Baroness Randerson)

"The Government has not cancelled either the Western Leg or Eastern Leg of HS2 Phase 2b. The Integrated Rail Plan sets out that HS2 will be built from Crewe to Manchester, and from the West Midlands to East Midlands Parkway. In addition, £100m has been provided to include work on looking at the best way to take HS2 trains to Leeds The Government will publish an updated Strategic Outline Business Case for Phase 2b Western Leg alongside the deposit of the Western Leg hybrid bill in early 2022."
So that would be No ? How about the phase 1 BCR without the Eastern leg ?

09-Dec-2021

Latest from the Lanes

See this News Update from Leather Lane, and a survey of the Bat situation.

05-Dec-2021

Ancient Woodland Translocation

Not a great success ? See reports from Bowood Lane.

01-Dec-2021

Wendover Green Cut and Cover Tunnel - precast in Derbyshire

Stanton Precast will fabricate the tunnel segments in Derbyshire, and deliver them by road to Wendover - presumably via the A355-A413 route. That should help the traffic along nicely.

Dr Haydon Bailey has provided these photographs recording the construction of a cut and cover tunnel on the A505;

"To call such an excavation in the HS2 Environmental Statement a “Green Tunnel” is a total deception; there is nothing “green” about it. All the chalk is excavated and placed to one side whilst the tunnels are constructed. Once the tunnels are completed all the disaggregated (structureless) chalk is put back into the hole covering the tunnels. Any original internal structure within the chalk (bedding, joints, etc) is totally destroyed, so its ability to act as a natural aquifer is consequently also destroyed.

Once completed the original soil was put back over the tunnels and even the hedge row which housed the badger sett was replaced. On the surface, the A505 tunnels appear to be “green”, as the appearance seems to have gone back to pre-tunnel conditions. However, from a geological perspective the subsurface chalk is now a disaggregated structureless mush, which will impede water flow through it. "

30-Nov-2021

Bucks HS2 Update

  • Christmas shutdown of HS2 works - 17-Dec to 4-Jan (with exceptions)
  • Applications for South Heath-Rocky lane works (cuttings) expected in Jan-22
  • Stephenson 6 month report to Parliament- its all going just fine, honest...

18-Nov-2021

One down, two to go !

Phase 2b Eastern (Leeds) leg to be scrapped !
A source told BBC political correspondent Nick Eardley they would show an "enormous amount of common sense". (for the first time ever, in relation to HS2).
So there goes ths business case (again)

Red wall Tory MPs are "incandescent with rage" after learning that not only has the proposed eastern leg between Birmingham and Leeds been scrapped, but the much-vaunted Northern Powerhouse Rail programme as well. (Express)

A senior HS2 insider previously warned that cutting the eastern leg in any way would undermine benefits of the entire project.
The HS2 insider emphasised that the eastern leg is “in many respects the most important part” of the high speed rail project. (NewCivilEngineer)

Campaigners against the proposed eastern leg of HS2 say they are "absolutely elated" by reports suggesting it is to be scrapped.
Sandra Haith, from an anti-HS2 campaign group in Bramley, Rotherham, said the route would have brought "untold devastation" and "heartbreak" to communities along the line, bringing with it "no benefits".
"For five and a half years, nobody has listened, and finally, if this is cancelled, it proves that what we've been trying to say all these years is true," she said. (BBC) (We know the feeling ...)

12-Nov-2021

Bucks to appeal against Schedule 17 decisions

"The council has issued judicial review proceedings against decisions made by the Planning Inspectors in respect of Schedule 17 lorry route approvals submitted by HS2 Limited" (Press Release, Bucks Herald)
At least this one won't need a Crowdfunder (We hope ...)

10-Nov-2021

Amersham TC p***ed off with vent shaft proposal

Town Councillors were frustrated and disappointed to learn that the notification was for information only and that no comments were being invited for the (planning) applications (Statement)

05-Nov-2021

WAR Camp eviction - tunnel protest, day 20

Swampy and his fellow anti-HS2 activists are ‘having a ball’ as they continue to defy bailiffs’ efforts to evict them from a tunnel system.
The eco-warrior, who is among five people holed up deep underground, has not spoken directly to his friends in the outside world for six days.(Metro, Bucks Radio )

Questions

what steps he has taken and what progress he has made on ensuring that HS2 delivers a net gain in biodiversity.
(Daisy Cooper)
We are looking at how HS2 might enhance this existing No Net Loss objective by identifying and implementing appropriate opportunities, where it is reasonably practicable, to move towards net gains in biodiversity.
(So don't hold your breath ...)

03-Nov-2021

Chalk Stream Restoration Strategy (HoL Debate)

Let me briefly reference a chalk stream issue causing concern to the good people of Chesham and Amersham. The Little Missenden Parish Council has been in touch, concerned about the planned HS2 tunnel under their River Misbourne, which will go through structureless chalk, rather than the competent chalk envisaged in the HS2 Act, greatly increasing the chance of settlement and damage to the chalk stream beds. I confess I am not familiar with the River Misbourne, but chalk is a porous rock, providing an excellent aquifer and containing up to 40% water in its interstices, which can make it structurally unstable. Bore holes will no doubt be required to confirm its structural integrity.
(Lord Chigley)

29-Oct-2021

Misbourne Judicial Review

The request for a Judicial Review ('the Case') was heard in the high courts of justice on Thursday 28th. Such was the complexity of the arguments presented that judgement has been deferred - see the Case Update, also New Civil Engineer, Bucks Free Press

13-Oct-2021

Beaconsfield: Demands to manage HS2 traffic on A355

[Cllr Alison Wheelhouse, Independent] wants to know how much HS2 traffic will use the A355/London End junction after an appeal against the council’s refusal to approve HS2 lorry routes was upheld, she said. (BFP)

10-Oct-2021

Wendover Active Resistance facing eviction

Bailiffs began trying to remove the protesters early on Sunday morning but Hooper told the Guardian that the tunnel at the Wendover camp had been robustly constructed over a long period of time. (Guardian)

You may have noticed the single file working on the A413 ?

06-Oct-2021

Euston - HS2 Tunnel protesters freed

District judge Susan Williams dismissed the charges in relation to the high-profile protest on the basis that HS2 was not carrying out any construction work on the site at the time the charges were levelled against the protesters.
Simon Natas, of ITN Solicitors, who represented the protesters, welcomed the judge’s decision.
“The protesters always maintained they never committed the offence of aggravated trespass. They have now been vindicated. We are extremely pleased,” he said.
An HS2 spokesperson said they were “bitterly disappointed” with the outcome of the case. (Guardian)

01-Oct-2021

Traffic problems ?

Route-wide Traffic Management plan

A new version of the RTMP has been released ...

3.2.3.2. The General Principles document sets out that:
a. It is the intention of the Secretary of State to carry out the project so that its impact is as assessed in the Environmenal Statement (ES).
b. The Secretary of State will require the nominated undertaker to adhere to the arrangements provided for in the Environmental Minimum Requirements (EMRs) in designing and constructing the High Speed Two Works; and
c. The controls contained in the EMRs, along with powers contained in the relevant Phase One Act or Phase 2a Bill and the Undertakings given by the Secretary of State, will ensure that impacts which have been assessed in the ES will not be exceeded unless it:
i. results from a change in circumstances which was not likely at the time of the ES; or,
ii. would not be likely to be environmentally significant; or,
iii. results from a change or extension to the project, where that change or extension does not itself require environmental impact assessment (EIA); or,
iv. would be considered as part of a separate consent process (and therefore further EIA if required)

So what can possibly go wrong ??

Bucks, Schedule 17 appeals

HS2 have won two appeals against Bucks UA refusals to grant schedule 17 approvals for traffic movements from the Wendover CutnCover tunnel, and worksites between the North Portal and Smalldean. Bucks argued that they needed cumulative data on all worksites, and the Wendover Tunnel traffic was to use the A4010, according to the Environmental Statement. (see previous item). The inspectors decided that parliament had agreed to screw up the local roads, by passing the bill, and that no better route is available.

46. "In the present case there is no evidence that I am aware of that suggests that any part of the proposed route has a notable accident record, nor that any part should be regarded as dangerous for any other reason."

John Felgate BA(Hons) MA MRTPI
an Inspector appointed by the Secretaries of State for Transport

28-Sep-2021

Whistleblowing and Fraud

allegations, in this Email from Michael Byng. Has anyone else noticed a funny smell around HS2 ?

13-Sep-2021

Westminster Hall Debate

Full Transcript (They Work for You)

Highlights

and 2min summary (Politics)

Letters to MPs and advanced publicity from

29-Aug-2021

Bentonite 'lost' at Chalfont St Peter

Not good news - see FOI request page, Ground Engineering

26-Aug-2021

HS2 Independent Design Panel appoints 16 new members

The Design Panel’s role is to help ensure that, through great design, HS2 delivers economic, social and environmental benefits for the whole country - like the Wendover Dean viaduct ? (Rail Business Daily)

23-Aug-2021

Chiltern Tunnels - a Judicial Review

Concerned local environmentalists have launched a Judicial Review of the Environment Agency decision to approve the Chiltern Tunnels. See their website for further details - and help preserve the River Misbourne and the Chiltern Aquifer - contribute to the Crowdfunder !

22-Aug-2021

Bucks facilitate eviction of the Wendover Active Resistance camp

Bucks CC have leased land to HS2 in order to evict Wendover Active Resistance. The legality of the decision is questionable at best, the lack of morality is not. (Mark Keir)

The people who put their lives on the line to bring  HS2  to the widest public possible on your behalf, are about to be thrust into battle, where a large part of the camp doesn't even lie on HS2 land.  The land has just been leased to HS2 by Bucks CC on a pretext of police reports of violence emanating from the camp. Bucks CC say this is unacceptable behaviour on council land, and are therefore leasing the land to HS2, so HS2 can evict.
...
Please write to [Bucks UA], they need to know how unpopular this will make them. They need to hear some anger.  Please also write or copy in your MP, they can exert a lot of pressure. (Google Docs)

See also - Report to Leader (of Bucks Ccl); part 1 only.
Was any attempt made to contact inhabitants of the camp, and hear their side of the story ?

17-Aug-2021

Bucks MP confronts HS2 Minister

Buckingham MP Greg Smith confronted HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson over his concerns with the rail project yesterday (August 17).
Mr Smith said: “Every single day I and my team raise issues relating to the construction of HS2 with the Department for Transport, HS2 Ltd and their contractors. (Bucks Herald)

14-Aug-2021

Debate on scrapping high-sped rail link scheduled 

A debate on scrapping HS2 has been scheduled for Sep 13 after a public petition calling for its axing drew more than the 100,000 signatures needed to trigger a formal session in the Commons. 
Senior Tories are preparing to urge ministers to put the project "out of its misery" as they point to spiralling costs and a shift to working from home as evidence that it should be cancelled and the £98 billion budget distributed elsewhere.
(Daily Telegraph)

Review of HS2 works in the Chilterns (EDM)

That this House calls for a review into the work on High Speed Rail 2 in the Chilterns; notes the concerns of Buckinghamshire residents, the Chiltern Society and local environmental groups about the potential damage caused to the chalk aquifer and the River Chess and Misbourne ...(Parliament.uk)
Tabled 21-July by Sarah Green, been hiding somewhere ?

12-Aug-2021

Accusations of Ministerial Fraud Glossed Over

Lord Berkeley has again written to Simon Case, Cabinet Secretary asking him for a reply to the letter of 9 July and quoting Sir Tim Lankester, a previous permanent secretary ... Lankester is quoted as saying:
 ”Dear Tony, Like you, I think the continuing deception over the costs of HS2 is an absolute disgrace. We had come to expect this from ministers, trying to protect their own backs and trying to protect the project's credibility against mounting evidence that it is a gigantic waste of the nation's scarce resources. But what I find utterly horrible, and in some ways even worse, is the Permanent Secretary's complicity in this deception."

To end the current letter to Simon Case Berkeley leaves little room for misinterpretation, ending:
So I suggest that you owe it to your colleagues, to officials and members of parliament, as well as to members of the public, to provide a substantive response to my letter of 9 July 2021."
(Handy Shipping Guide !, Daily Telegraph)

Might have expected the Guardian etc to be all over this ??

 

10-Aug-2021

HS2 left without chair

Cook left his role at the end of July with the Department for Transport (DfT) as yet unable to announce a successor to his role as the figurehead for the Europe’s most expensive infrastructure project.
The former chair handed in his resignation in February after joining HS2 in 2018. Underneath his stewardship the project has progressed through the 2019 Stocktake, which saw the cost of the new line rise from the previous £55bn to between £72 and £76bn (and the rest), as well undergoing the independent Oakervee Review and gaining official notice to proceed from central government.(New Civil Engineer, Stop HS2 )

09-Aug-2021

HS2/EWR Marshal hits the streets

Due to the significant increase in the HS2 /EWR works across the county, Buckinghamshire Council has appointed its first HS2/EWR Marshal, Mark Rann.
A major part of the Marshal’s role will be to respond to complaints and queries relating to traffic management, highways activities and planning related issues of HS2 and EWR. 
Mark can be contacted by email on ewrandhs2enquiries@buckinghamshire.gov.uk
(Wendover News, Bucks Advertiser)

HS2 saved Kier from collapse

Andrew Davies, the CEO of Kier, said the business was “an absolute mess” and on the verge of bankruptcy when he took on the challenge of rebuilding the FTSE 250-listed company in April 2019.
"... the government actually saved us by giving us orders. The biggest was HS2. “ (Construction Daily)

Well, who would have guessed ?

A man has been sentenced for assaulting two security guards

The 38-year-old attacked two security guards leaving bruising and caused criminal damage to fencing at Jones Hill Wood in Wendover
A Thames Valley Police spokesperson said: “... all have the right to protest and demonstrate peacefully and within the law. Police only become involved in such protests if individuals break the law. (Bucks Herald)

31-Jul-2021

HS2 broke wildlife rules

HS2 has been handed nine warnings for breaching wildlife licenses, The Telegraph can disclose... the other few dozen, it got away with.

28-Jul-2021

Concrete Batching plant - Wendover

"The concrete trucks will go down the A413 and enter the HS2 land at Small Dean just before the petrol station. An internal road is being constructed from there to Great Missenden to allow the concrete to be delivered to the viaduct working sites. Empty lorries will continue down to Missenden before coming back up the A413 to collect their next load." Just what we need ... Wendover News

23-Jul-2021

Aylesbury MP confronts HS2 minister

Mr Stephenson was in Aylesbury and during his visit Mr Butler took the minister to see Stoke Mandeville and visit landowners affected by HS2’s construction. (Wendover PC, Bucks Herald)

19-Jul-2021

Phase 2b 'Unachievable' - Infrastructure Projects Authority

“Successful delivery of the project appears to be unachievable. There are major issues with project definition, schedule, budget, quality and/or benefits delivery, which at this stage do not appear to be manageable or resolvable. The project may need re-scoping and/or its overall viability reassessed.” (Construction News)

17-Jul-2021

Leather Lane - latest

Read the report, Sign the petition & support the campaign (more...)

 

15-Jul-2021

Q: How many villages does HS2 trash ? (Esther McVey)

A: We dont know (Rocket Man)

Q: How many homes have been compulsorily purchased ? (Esther McVey)

A: . As an acquisition may be land only or may contain a mixed-use property or properties, HS2 Ltd do not record how many contain ‘homes’.

11-Jul-2021

Amersham Vent Shaft - You said, We didn't

Meet the new design ... somewhat reminiscent of the old one, perhaps - just a metre off the top, when we asked for a short back & sides.See this page for details of the three online "You Said, We Did" events (26th, 29th July, 2nd August)

10-Jul-2021

Accusation of Fraud

Press Release

In his letter to Simon Case (the Cabinet Secretary), Lord Berkeley said:
‘The project has been promoted and procured by deception and possibly fraud from the start ten years ago, a process that has allowed the project to proceed in stages to ensure that the true costs only came out when it is too late to change or cancel.  
‘Parliament would expect that the true costs and time for project delivery should be placed before it for its scrutiny and debate in a timely manner during the Hybrid Bill process, so that it can have an opportunity to affirm its support for the project or otherwise.
‘I therefore conclude that the HS2 Phase 1 Bill received Royal Assent only because Parliament was misled multiple times over the last five years either by omission or misinformation, and that this misleading has continued with Phase 2A -  for a project now expected to cost £142 bn, ten times the original estimate.’

The supporting evidence for these allegations can be read here. (Daily Telegraph)

02-Jul-2021

Princes Risborough - dustbin for HS2 ?

By pure coincidence (obvs), this new constituency contains nearly all the above ground HS2 construction in Bucks, conveniently removing it from the adjoining (Tory) safe seats ... (Chesham Society)

30-Jun-2021

The Environment Bill

"It is fascinating that HS2 gets only passing references in a Bill on the environment. Perhaps this is because no one really wants to study the matter in detail and be forced to admit what a dreadful effect it is having, and will continue to have, on our environment and what a huge mistake it will turn out to be." ( Lord Framlingham )

28-Jun-2021

Tunnelling and the EA

"if he will make it the policy of the Government to instruct the Environment Agency to install a comprehensive inspection regime for HS2 tunnelling operations beneath the Misbourne Valley" Christopher Chope

Rob Butler MP supports Bucks CC decision

I’ve written to the Planning Inspectorate to support Buckinghamshire Council's decision not to approve High Speed Two Limited (HS2 Ltd)'s application for lorry routes in Wendover." (BFP)

25-Jun-2021

Protesters cost us £75m - Thurston

(Thats nearly as much as my bonus !) If HS2 would make some attempt to reverse the worst aspects of the design, rather than displaying a pathological aversion to the slightest alterations, then there would be less to protest about.
(Mail, Guardian)

Whistleblowers

" I have lots of evidence, because Ministers over the years, the Permanent Secretaries and the chief executives of HS2 have either told what I would call lies or misled Parliament by hiding that they knew the true costs. One HS2 employee actually gave evidence to a Select Committee, saying, “If we told Parliament the true cost, they would never give approval.” Where is Parliament on this, keeping an eye on it?" (Lord Berkeley)

24-Jun-2021

Wendover News

 

22-Jun-2021

Cummings - Garbage ?

Former chief advisor Dominic Cummings is facing questions over whether he withheld details of cost hikes relating to land acquisitions on HS2 which may have influenced Johnson’s decision to press ahead with the project.

Cummings wrote: “A garbage model/graph was fed to a PM making a [more than] £100bn decision (which he blew despite us pointing out such absurdities in the ‘evidence’).” (NCE)

21-Jun-2021

HS2 budget increase

... but only another £1.7bn - peanuts (compared to whats in store) (The Bulletin, Daily Mail, Spectator)

An HS2 spokesperson said: “ FT Today’s reports indicate that the project’s budget has increased by £ 1.7bn, which is absolutely not the case.
“The HS2 budget for the first phase remains at £ 44.6 billion. This includes unforeseen circumstances, including unforeseen events such as Covid-19. HS2 remains within this budget and is not projected to exceed it under current circumstances. No additional money from the Treasury is required for this.

... and if you believe that ...

‘Colne Valley Western Slopes’ project approved

an ambitious scheme which will use material excavated from the Chiltern tunnels to create 127 hectares of new chalk grassland, woodland, wood pasture and wetland habitats around the tunnel’s south portal.
(Wendover News, Bucks Herald, Railway News)

Wendover Cut n Cover Tunnel - questions from Baroness Bowles

See Wendover News, or (TW4U)
Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4, Q5, Q6  
- High Speed 2 Railway Line/ Tunnels/ 21 Jun 2021/ Hansard Written Answers - Baroness Bowles of Berkhamsted

18-Jun-2021

LibDems take Chesham and Amersham

(BBC, Politics Home, Guardian, UnHerd , CAPX ... )

A 25% swing from Conservative to LibDem has ended the long running Conservative domination of the constituency, and underlines the personal support which allowed Dame Cheryl Gillan to retain the seat for so long. The charisma free Conservative candidate made a poor attempt to show any passionate opposition to HS2, and saw his vote slump by 20%.

We congratulate Sarah Green on her victory, and hope she will oppose HS2 (in opposition to the policy of her party) with the same determination that Cheryl showed. We look forward to meeting her to discuss future strategy, and if the Conservative Association are in need of counselling, we are happy to oblige.

The LibDem takeover of Amersham TC, following the disruption caused by work on the Vent Shaft at the end of Whielden Lane, contrasts with the lack of any significant change in Chesham TC, which has yet to feel the full effects of HS2 construction (which has barely started) -suggesting that the HS2 effect is at present fairly localised. However, the recent proposed changes to planning legislation, together with the disastrous Chiltern and S. Bucks local plan (now withdrawn) may well have caused a backlash among voters who bother to read these things. Some will be outraged by the prolongation of lockdown, others upset that it will soon end - by positioning herself as the anti-Tory candidate, Sarah gained votes all round, and despite the vaccine success, there is a lot not to like about present government policies.

A party claiming to protect the Green Belt (& AoNB) while voters could see it being ripped apart all around them was asking for a greater suspension of disbelief than even J K Rowling dared, and deserve what they got.

 

15-Jun-2021

Wendover Dean Viaduct approved

Bucks Council approved a schedule 17 submission it could do 'nothing' to stop from HS2 Limited and EKFB to build the Wendover Dean Viaduct. (Bucks Herald)
Wendover PC complaint about noise guarantees.

Chiltern Tunnel

More concerns about the tunnel ...

Independent Construction Commissioner

Report, 1st quarter 2021

14-Jun-2021

'Garbage' data from HS2 ? Surely not ...

Boris Johnson signed off on the £100 billion High Speed 2 rail line based on "garbage" data predicting an exponential increase in demand for the service, Dominic Cummings has claimed. (Adam Smith Inst)
but 'DfT doesn't recognise the evidence' ?? (New Civil Engineer)

27-May-2021

Weird Conservative petition ?

The Conservative Candidate Peter Fleet has launched this petition, against the Amersham Vent Shaft design; it is a bit odd ? Is he taking this seriously ?

  • The exact text of the petition isn't set out clearly
  • There is no illustration of the design which you are asked to petition against, although its not hard to find one ( eg here )
  • It will be sent to HS2 (who exactly ?) - but the VS design is developed in partnership with Align, the contractor, and the HS2 design panel have their fingerprints all over it. Might need a couple of CCs ?
  • Obviously nothing to do with the forthcoming election ...

However, we strongly recommend that you sign it, if only to show that HS2 is still a major concern in this area. You could even tick the 'keep me updated' box, if you feel that you are getting to few Emails these days ...

25-May-2021

Bats at Leather Lane !

How totally unexpected ... (more...)

21-May-2021

Candidates for the Chesham and Amersham by-election

Eight in all (BBC)

Bucks dont like the Amersham Vent Shaft design

Buckinghamshire Council is meeting with HS2, its contractor, Align, and the HS2 Independent Design Panel next week to discuss major concerns over the proposed design of the Amersham vent shaft...
Before we are in a position to agree a suitable design, which fits in with the historical character of Old Amersham and the nearby AONB, there need to be major changes." (Martin Tett)
[Bucks.gov, Bucks Herald, BFP) But the design panel think its loverley ...

Ask HS2 ...

Book your one-to-one online appointment and find out more about the HS2 works in the North Chilterns area
(Gt Missenden PC)
and if you find out anything useful - do let us know ...

 

18-May-2021

Questions to Rocket Man

(How the)  change in the demand for commuter train services that has arisen during the covid-19 outbreak... may affect (i) commuting and (ii) demand for HS2 in the long term. (Margaret Greenwood)

... what recent estimate he has made of the total cost of the HS2 programme.(Margaret Greenwood)
To you guv, £98Bn (2019 prices)

More trees (& birds) going

Yet again HS2 felling trees with live birds nests in (Twitter)

Wendover Mined Tunnel

The DfT's dedicated minister for HS2 Andrew Stephenson has confirmed that High Speed 2 (HS2) contractors have never conducted a formal assessment of an alternative proposal to build a mined tunnel in Wendover, nor have they ever been asked to. (New Civil Engineer)

Looks like Lord Berkeley was right

14-May-2021

HS2 "No longer a major issue"

Peter Fleet the Conservative candidate for Chesham & Amersham by election has told the local party that "HS2 is no longer a major issue for the constituency".
Shows how much he knows. Time to send a message to Boris ??
Or complete Peter's Residents Survey ?

13-May-2021

Chiltern TBM launched ? (BBC)

Thurston claims they are tunneling under the AONB - not quite ! Also, doesnt look like it is moving, yet

29-Apr-2021

The Wendover Mined Tunnel

Letter to Rocket Man from Lord Berkeley - have HS2 been telling porkies ? Surely not ... (New Civil Engineer)

Hybrid Bills -

How many times do we have to tell them the procedure is crap ... (Consultation)

28-Apr-2021

Chiltern Tunnel

Statements by the Chiltern Society & River Chess Association re Environment Agency approval -
and (later), Bucks Council and the Conservation Board (BFP)

HoL Questions

 Will the Minister make sure that HS2 is completely open about its activities, to reassure people living near the line’s route? In particular, will it publish unredacted results of all tests carried out near and under the mid-Chilterns aquifer?
Lord Jones

" HS2 is a nature-positive programme... " Really ??

27-Apr-2021

Jones Hill Wood setback

(Financial) help urgently needed.

22-Apr-2021

Wendover News

HS2 Update and Mitigation Action Group - Sched 17 approvals, Wendover Dean Viaduct

HS2 and Footpaths - Closures and Diversions

20-Apr-2021

Sarah Green wins FoI case

HS2 had claimed that ... if unfinished information was given to the public this could be misleading and involve greater public expenditure to correct false impressions.
The judges rejected these reasons saying that this approach almost entirely negates the possibility of the public having any input on the decision-making process in this kind of case, which goes against a large part of the reason for allowing public access to environmental information. (Change.org, StopHS2 , Hillingdon Green Party )

See also, the full judgement. Followers of our FoI requests page will know that the reasons for refusal which the court rejected are entirely typical of HS2s response to FoI requests, and it may well be worth revisiting some of these, in the light of this judgement.

Jones Hill Wood -

HS2 seek earlier hearing

17-Apr-2021

Jones Hill Wood - injunction at last !

Why do we have to take Natural England to court - rather than rely on their support ? (Save Cubbington Woods)

14-Apr-2021

Bucks turn down A413 closure

Proposals by Align to close the A413 for two entire weekends have been turned down by Bucks ! Keep taking the spinach, Martin !! (Bucks Herald, BFP )

Cavalry fail to arrive ...

It would seem that the injunction anticipated by the Jones Hill Woodland protectors has failed to arrive

Rt Hon Dame Cheryl Gillan MP

We regret to announce the death of our MP, Dame Cheryl Gillan -
a staunch defender of the Chilterns AoNB, and long time opponent of HS2.
At least she will not have to witness the ongoing destruction which she fought so hard to prevent

05-Apr-2021

Chiltern Tunnel Application

HS2 have applied to the Environment Agency for permission to construct the Chiltern Tunnels. Why would they leave it so late ? Surely not because they regard the EA as a useless bunch of tossers, like everyone else ?

02-Apr-2021

Leather Lane reopened

... in time for the holiday, but minus half a dozen trees (BFP)-

Photography - Keith Hoffmeister

The Conservation Board write
"Last week Buckinghamshire Council and the Chilterns Conservation Board met with HS2 Ltd’s designers - EKFB - to challenge them to review and modify their plans. EKFB has accepted this challenge and has now confirmed that they will not be cutting down as many trees as we originally thought."
At least not yet. Unless they move the bridge to the N. side of the lane, many more will go.

Sign the Petition                 Watch the Video                  Support the Crowdfunder

31-Mar-2021

Joe Rukin steps down

After 10 years, he deserves a rest

Natural England roll over & die ...

On 30 March, Natural England issued a bat licence to HS2’s contractors for works at Jones Hill Wood, Buckinghamshire... (More...)

As does a deer -

Killed on the A413; nothing to do with HS2 ??

29-Mar-2021

HS2 a fraud

... it still seems pretty clear that Ministers, Civil Servants and HS2 Ltd employees committed Fraud by Abuse of Position along with a few other things, it’s only right to put some of the issues on the record, especially as many of them have never been reported before (Stop HS2)

26-Mar-2021

HS2 workers attacked near Wendover

Nine HS2 security staff were injured after being attacked by a 30-strong group in Buckinghamshire on Friday night.
The attack took place close to the A413 road at Small Dean, Wendover, and spilled over into the road, police said. One person was taken to hospital after being punched and stamped by the masked assailants, HS2 said.
(Construction News , BFP, Bucks Herald )

We deplore attacks on HS2 security personel, who are mostly harmless. Take out your frustrations on the National Eviction Team.

Of course, by pointing out all that has been achieved through peaceful negotiation -

  •  
  •  
  •   etc

we could argue that there is no place for violent protest.

25-Mar-2021

Wendover News

HS2 mitigation group- concerned residents, local councillors and passionate engineers who have come together on a voluntary basis to investigate the detail of the current HS2 plans

Wendover Cricket Club - has suffered at the hands of HS2 from the outset of the project since 2017. Lengthy delays, u-turns, lack of communication and information until recently, long delays in being reimbursed significant sums of money … Not what you would expect, at all ???

HoL Questions

Risk of Noise exceeding limits, Cost of Old Oak Common (Lord Berkeley)

Chiltern Tunnel Approval

... whether the Environment Agency has given full approval for the construction works of the HS2 Chiltern Tunnel and, if so, when; what risk assessments have been made in connection with this approval in respect of the Chiltern Aquifer
(Lord Berkeley, at the request of the Chiltern Society)
Approval for the construction of the Chilterns Tunnel has not yet been granted, pending the finalisation of the necessary risk assessments and monitoring plans, which are in an advance stage of production and review.
(Baroness Vere)
but they got the important stuff done in good time, like naming the Tunnel Boring Machines

23-Mar-2021

HS2 facing Cost Pressures ! Stop Press !!

  • HS2 rail project is facing 'potential cost pressures' of £800million, minister says
  • Government report blames Euston protesters and effects of Covid pandemic (Daily Mail)

Stephenson said £400m of extra costs are looming “predominately due to slower than expected mobilisation of main works civils contractors, associated with delays to approvals of designs, planning consents, protestor action and some Covid-19 impacts.” (Construction Enquirer)

HS2 6 monthly report

Local Engagement - This January, at the Transport Select Committee, I heard first-hand how HS2 construction is impacting communities. The testimonies I heard were powerful and strengthened my resolute commitment to ensure that HS2 Ltd properly informs and consults communities...

Environmental Impact -The first report of the HS2 Ltd Environmental Sustainability Committee will be published in the autumn. The approach and content of the report will be informed by the Global Reporting Initiative methodology ...
The government has also given a statutory commitment to provide an impact assessment of construction on ancient woodland within the report, building on previously conducted assessments.

22-Mar-2021

Hard times in Denham

  • Denham protesters convicted (BFP)
  • Activists evicted (ITV News)

17-Mar-2021

Felling starts at Leather Lane

Pictures & Social Media links - here;

Great Missenden residents distraught ( BFP ); Stop HS2 ( + Link to BBC London News ); Independent, BFP again

... and stops again ? (19-Mar)

Since felling began on Tuesday, any further felling has come to a halt; most likely caused by the national attention we have created and the fact that HS2 have a lot of questions to answer to. (Change.org)

Crowdfunder -

Please help us to raise money to support Lawyers for Nature and Buxton Solicitors in their continued work to protect all woodland sites surrounding the HS2 project; making them accountable for the criminal destruction of wildlife sustained by the majestic Leather Lane Oaks and all other trees they plan to fell. (GoFundMe )

16-Mar-2021

Bucks fight back !

Buckinghamshire Council has refused to approve lorry route applications for HS2 Ltd due to a lack of relevant information and the Council’s concerns about the impact of increased HGV movements on the A413/A355 corridor from north of Wendover to the M40 at Beaconsfield. (Press Release, Construction Enquirer, Wendover News , BFP)

(The grounds for opposing a Schedule 17 application are very limited - see this presentation)

HS2 to appeal - well I never ... (Bucks Herald) Grant Shapps to decide, so we can be sure of a fair hearing !

15-Mar-2021

Chilterns AoNB - News Update

Jones Hill Wood; Bottom House Farm Lane, River Misbourne; Leather Lane trees

12-Mar-2021

Leather Lane - save the trees

EKFB met with The Lee parish council to discuss Leather Lane - see report, and (EKFB) slides .

"Why can the access road, construction compound and overbridge not be moved to the other side of Leather Lane, which is free of trees?
. If the road was built to the north side of the existing road, it would impact the copse of mature trees to the north west. This decision was part of our environmental assessments when designing the railway, taking into consideration the wider implications in order to come up with the best solution to minimise impacts and preserve as many trees as possible."

B*llocks - the 'copse of mature trees' to the north' is some scruffy woodland around an old chalk pit, which was left outside act limits, & would need filling in (£££!) if the new road went to that side. There was also to be a temporary spoil dump on that side, which is now reduced or removed. The settling ponds and Auto-Transformer station coulld be moved - by anyone with the slightest concern for trees.

 

Save the trees - sign the petition !

27-Feb-2021

Euston Tunnel protest ends

The final anti-HS2 activist in a network of tunnels in London’s Euston Square Gardens has been removed. They were the ninth protester to be removed from the tunnels, which were discovered on January 26. (Standard, StopHS2, Mail )

How HS2 bought the Police force

Back in 2018 a ‘special agreement’ was reached between HS2 Ltd and the National Police Force to avoid the cost implications of delays caused by protesting. They entered into an enhanced police service agreement, in which an organisation (HS2 Ltd) can pay for law-enforcement services. (XR)

26-Feb-2021

Wendover News

  • Action Group - Traffic, Flooding and Noise
  • HS2 and Me - "things had begun to change from the moment they announced the route of HS2. We hadn’t wanted to move but their plans made it inevitable as our home was to go."
  • HS2 Update - Meetings with Rob Butler MP, Lord Berkeley and Lord Randell.
    Transport MisManagement plan ...

23-Feb-2021

Bat Licence ?

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether HS2 has received a bat licence which permits the demolition of trees in Jones Hill Wood, Buckinghamshire; (Lord Berkley)
HS2 Ltd has undertaken surveys of the area of Jones’ Hill wood required for clearance and has sought a licence from Natural England to undertake associated works...
Works which are relevant to licenced approvals will only take place when those licenses and permission are in place.
(Baroness Vere)

16-Feb-2021

Protect Jones Hill Wood - Crowdfunder

See our Jones Hill Wood page

08-Feb-2021

HS2 consultation 'a sham' - well whoda thought it ?

Michael Fabricant has declared that HS2’s consultation which was forced on it by a House of Lords amendment to the legislation for Phase 2a (Birmingham to Crewe) and which was subsequently agreed to by the House of Commons is “a total sham and an insult to those living and working along the route.”
...
“This sly paragraph makes it clear that HS2 do not intend to take the consultation seriously.  This is in breach of the spirit of the law the Government has only just passed and its arrogance has been the hallmark of the way in which HS2 has consistently behaved. (Lichfield Live)

07-Feb-2021

Euston Tunnel Protests

A second anti-HS2 activist has been arrested after voluntarily leaving tunnels dug in secret near Euston station in central London.
Lazer Sandford was one of nine HS2 Rebellion campaigners who went underground on 27 January in protest against the £106bn high-speed project. (BBC; iNews, Standard, Camden New Journal)

27-Jan-2021

Stephenson responds to Chiltern Society report

Wasn't there a rumour about him holding HS2 to account - rather than making feeble excuses for their continuing misbehaviour ?

21-Jan-2021

HS2 now required to declare construction impact on woodlands and local roads -but not ours

HS2 Ltd will be required to publish reports on the scheme’s impact on ancient woodland, as well as giving local authorities more notice about road closures. The new measures are part of amendments made to the West Midlands to Crewe (Phase 2a) bill.
The amendments tabled by the House of Lords have now been passed by MPs. They require HS2 Ltd to publish annual reports regarding the construction impact of each phase of the scheme on ancient woodland. High Speed 2 (HS2) minister Andrew Stephenson said he has also committed to “wider environmental reporting” on the scheme’s impact. “I look forward to the first of these reports being published and I am committed to holding HS2 Ltd to account on environmental matters,” he said. (New Civil Engineer)

So why not introduce the same measures on Phase 1 - lots more lovely reports to look forward to ?

19-Jan-2021

Martin Tett writes to TSC

"I urge the Select Committee to insist that HS2 Ltd and its contractors do as they said they would when they set out their proposals to Parliament. Faced with the delivery phase of this unwanted project, the least we should expect is considerate, well communicated implementation. However, despite the assurances from HS2 that they will be a “good neighbour” we are not currently experiencing that ..." (Bucks.gov, Bucks Herald )

"Both Greg Smith, MP for Buckingham, and Mr Gaskin raised the need for independent oversight of the project and suggested the implementation of local sheriff style appointments, to be told by Mark Thurston, HS2’s CEO, that these roles were already in existence. No-one has seen these officers in Buckinghamshire." (Wendover News

Poors Piece fear eviction

Protestors have voiced concerns after HS2 Activity, including the use of drones to see what they were up to and visits from 'random' passers by suggests they will imminently move in on the site. (Bucks Herald)

15-Jan-2021

Area of Neighbourly Behaviour ?

The Chiltern Society have released a report on the first 8 months under HS2 rule, following Notice to Proceed - circulated to local MPs, members of the Transport Select Committee, and others of the great and good. HS2 is bound to be cancelled on Monday ?

HS2 respond to the petition

The usual collection of lies, half truths and b**locks. Have fun composing a refutation, I dont have time tonight, sorry.

03-Jan-2021

New petition taking off

The latest (admittedly of many) petitions against HS2 is now attracting attention. Stressing the collapse in rail useage, and climate concerns, it requests that the High Speed Rail bills (2016 & 2019) be repealed
(See also - Daily Express, BFP, Bucks Herald, iNews )


SIGN NOW  !                  ASK YOUR FRIENDS TO SIGN  !

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