HS2 af­fect­ing health even be­fore it’s built

Cam­paign­ers’ re­port claims stress and de­pres­sion

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - HS2 NEWS - By Jack Abell jack.abell@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

CAM­PAIGN­ERS against HS2 have pro­duced a re­port which they say shows that HS2 is al­ready hav­ing a dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect on peo­ple’s health and well­be­ing in Bucks.

Chilterns Con­ser­va­tion Board has pro­duced a doc­u­ment which looks at how the con­tro­ver­sial rail project is af­fect­ing peo­ple’s lives even be­fore work has started on it.

It has been pro­duced in mem­ory of Great Mis­senden cam­paigner Shirley Judges, who died ear­lier this year.

The re­port fol­lows a survey of peo­ple liv­ing in South Heath and Wen­dover, in which they were asked about anx­i­ety, stress and other knock-on ef­fects on their lives from the prospect of the line.

It was car­ried out be­cause HS2 Ltd had not con­sid­ered health or well­be­ing in ei­ther its draft en­vi­ron­men­tal state­ment or the full en­vi­ron­men­tal state­ment. The re­sults of the survey show that of those who re­sponded, 83.7 per cent re­ported hav­ing health prob­lems which they at t r i bute to HS2.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, th­ese in­clude anx­i­ety, stress, de­pres­sion and sleep­less­ness.

San­dra Macdon­ald, a for­mer nurse from Lit­tle King­shill who helped com­pile the study, said: “It demon­strates clearly what is hap­pen­ing, and it shows that peo­ple’s con­cerns about health have not been ad­dressed.

“Our re­port shows the im­pact HS2 is hav­ing, and what peo­ple who live near the line are go­ing through. Peo­ple are in­cred­i­bly con­cerned about HS2, and the im­pact it is go­ing to have. She added: “For peo­ple liv­ing nearby, es­pe­cially the el­derly, it is a prison sen­tence, be­cause sell­ing their homes is go­ing to be in­cred­i­bly dif­fi­cult, and so there is a high level of stress and anx­i­ety.”

Mrs Macdon­ald said she be­lieves that the re­port’s find­ings will be in­dica­tive of ev­ery­one liv­ing along the line

The group now wants HS2 Ltd and the gov­ern­ment to ac­knowl­edge its find­ings and to follow up the re­port with an in­de­pen­dent study into the ef­fects which it has iden­ti­fied.

It has also sent copies to HS2 Ltd boss David Hig­gins and to the Sec­re­tary of State for Trans­port, Pa­trick McLough­lin.

What do you think? Is HS2 af­fect­ing your health? Email our let­ters page at buck­snews@trin­i­tysouth. co.uk.

CAM­PAIGNER: The new re­port has been pro­duced in mem­ory of Shirley Judges, who

fought against the rail line

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