HS2 cam­paign­ers pre­pare to show their tun­nel vi­sion

Pro­test­ers switch fo­cus to lim­it­ing the dam­age of rail line

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

ANTI-HS2 cam­paign­ers are pre­par­ing to step up their fight for an ex­tended tun­nel un­der the Chilterns.

The bat­tle to save the coun­try­side has switched from call­ing for the project to be com­pletely scrapped to lim­it­ing the dam­age to the Chilterns if it goes ahead.

HS2 Ltd in­tends to tun­nel un­der some of the Bucks coun­try­side, be­tween Chal­font St Peter and Amer­sham, but cam­paign­ers want this ex­tended much fur­ther.

Den­ham-based cam­paign­ers want the tun­nel to go un­der the whole of the Colne Val­ley and Amer­sham-based cam­paign­ers want it ex­tended un­der Amer­sham Great Mis­senden be­fore emerg­ing near Wen­dover.

The gov­ern­ment dis­missed the calls as too costly.

Early next year a cross­party par­lia­men­tary se­lect com­mit­tee will visit Buck­ing­hamshire to look at the ar­eas that will be af­fected by build­ing work

and in the first phase of the line.

Coun­cils, groups and neigh­bours will then have the chance to make their cases to com­mit­tee mem­bers. Although they will not be able to ar­gue that HS2 should be scrapped al­to­gether, pro­test­ers will be able to say how their homes and liveli­hoods will be af­fected, and sug­gest how the im­pact of the project could be mit­i­gated.

Chief among th­ese mit­i­ga­tion ar­gu­ments is tun­nelling HS2 un­der the Chilterns Area of Nat­u­ral Beauty to pre­serve as much of it as pos­si­ble.

HS2 Amer­sham Ac­tion Group’s Stan Ma­son said: “It’s a very im­por­tant time for us. It’s our chance to con­vince the gov­ern­ment to make changes.”

He added: “The point about tun­nelling will be one of the main

It’s a very im­por­tant time for us. It’s our chance to con­vince the gov­ern­ment to make changes”

ar­gu­ments be­ing put for­ward. If that ends up hap­pen­ing then the im­pact on this area will be much less.”

Com­mu­nity groups and Bucks County Coun­cil have al­ready of­fered ad­vice to peo­ple who will be pre­sent­ing to the se­lect com­mit­tee, to en­sure their ar­gu­ments are as ef­fec­tive as pos­si­ble, and that peo­ple are fully pre­pared for the meet­ing and know what to ex­pect.

An an­nounce­ment on the date of the com­mit­tee’s visit to Bucks is ex­pected after the Christ­mas break.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.