Significant year in fight against HS2
Committee visit and general election will be pivotal to campaign
THE next year will be a key time in the battle against HS2 in Bucks, campaigners say.
It has been announced that a cross-party select committee of MPs will visit Bucks on January 15 to look at the areas which will be most affected when work begins on the first phase of building the line.
There will also be the chance for individuals, groups and councils in Bucks to make presentations to the committee to explain their main concerns and to state the need for the impact of the project to be mitigated.
Protesters against the line are in the process of preparing their presentations and say that the coming months could be crucial in the fight.
Hilary Wharf, director of the Amersham based HS2 Action Alliance said: “It’s a very important time, undoubtedly. We need to make sure that our points are made as clearly as possible to the select committee, and to make sure that they understand just how much impact the project is going to have.
“We want them to see areas like Mantles Wood [in Amersham], which could be decimated if the plans stay as they are.
“We also need to stress the need for a tunnel underneath the whole of the Area of Natural Beauty.”
The select committee is scheduled to tour Bucks for one day, looking at the areas most affected, but campaigners, as well as Bucks County Council, want this to be extended to three days, saying that there is far too much to see.
Frank Partridge, chairman of Denham Against HS2, said: “In this area, there are places like Savay Lake, the Hillingdon Outdoor Activity Centre and the Colne Valley Park to look at, and then there are so many places in the Chilterns and beyond that.
“I can’t see how it can be done in one day, so we think it’s really important that the visit is extended.
“It’s a very big year. It’s something that we’ve been preparing for.
“The other important point is that there will be a general election after which the whole political landscape of the country could change, so it could really be a key time for HS2.”