HS2 study is to serve as trib­ute

Re­port ded­i­cated to pro­tester Shirley

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Jack Abell jack.abell@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A STUDY which shows how the HS2 project could dam­age peo­ple’s lives in the Chilterns is be­ing ded­i­cated to the mem­ory of a much-loved cam­paigner against the scheme.

A pilot study was launched last year by the HS2 Ac­tion Al­liance to ex­am­ine the health ef­fects the project might have on peo­ple liv­ing in the Chilterns Area of Nat­u­ral Beauty.

The re­sults have just been pub­lished and show that of the 286 peo­ple who re­sponded, more than 80 per cent were suf­fer­ing from anx­i­ety about the project, and said that they felt stressed about the im­pact it will have on their lives.

Be­cause of the fact that it is cen­tred on the im­pact HS2 will have on peo­ple liv­ing in the Chilterns, it has been de­cided that the re­port will be ded­i­cated to cam­paigner Shirley Judges, who died ear­lier this month fol­low­ing a bat­tle with ill­ness.

Mrs Judges, who lived in Great Mis­senden, had fought against HS2 since it was first an­nounced and, since her death, trib­utes have flooded in for her.

The main con­cern af­fect­ing peo­ple’s health and well-be­ing in the study was prop­erty blight, but con­struc­tion and land­scape im­pacts were also found to be im­por­tant.

A to­tal of 17 per cent of those who re­sponded said that they had raised the mat­ter of the ef­fect the project is hav­ing on their health to a doc­tor and that, over­all, peo­ple feel that the im­pact in the fu­ture will be worse dur­ing the con­struc­tion phase than when HS2 is in op­er­a­tion.

The HS2 Ac­tion Al­liance be­lieves that the study shows that the sit­u­a­tion will be worse than that pre­dicted in the health im­pact as­sess­ment pub­lished by HS2 Ltd last year, and that that re­port un­der­es­ti­mates the im­pact the line will have.

The find­ings have now been for­warded to MPs for their con­sid­er­a­tions.

Hi­lary Wharf, chair­man of the HS2 Ac­tion Al­liance, said: “The pilot study is ded­i­cated to the mem­ory of Shirley Judges who was an his­to­rian, ar­chae­ol­o­gist, countryside lover, walker, pas­sion­ate com­mu­nity cham­pion and dear friend.”

The Al­liance is now urg­ing HS2 Ltd to un­der­take more re­search into the is­sue.

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