‘Bury HS2, not our beautiful scenery’
Campaigners urge for project to be scrapped or consider a tunnel
HS2 PROTESTERS are sending a strong message to the Government over the multi-billion pound project – bury it.
A huge new campaign has been launched in the run up to May’s elections which urges politicians to either scrap HS2 or tunnel it under the whole of the Chilterns.
MPs will visit the Chilterns in May following the general election. They will send findings to the government to consider when planning the next move over HS2.
Campaigners are planning key information sessions to inform people in the area of the need for a tunnel, and the benefits it would entail.
Today (Thursday) Chiltern District Council, along with Bucks County Council, the Chilterns Conservation Board and Aylesbury Vale District Council, will unveil alternative plans to tunnel under the whole of the Chilterns at a press conference in London. Bucks MP Cheryl Gillan will also attend.
Action groups from around Bucks will stage a public information day on Saturday April 11, where they will discuss the different tunnelling options.
Chris Wilson, of the HS2 Amersham Action Group, and one of the organisers of the April 11 event, said: “We want people to realise that there is still a fight to be won.
“We are in a situation where we are facing losing our Area of Natural Beauty, which is a real jewel in the crown, not just for the Chilterns but for the UK.
“Once that has been lost or damaged, it won’t be coming back. We have to fight to protect that and do whatever we can to keep it.”
The event will go ahead at Amersham Free Church Hall in Woodside Road from 11am onwards, and will give people the chance to drop by and speak to people including HS2 Action Alliance director Hilary Wharf, as well as representatives of groups such as the Chiltern Society and other campaigners. Mr Wilson said: “The fight against HS2 has not gone away. This is an incredibly important time and we believe we can make a difference to what happens to this area.”
destroyed and threatened if existing plans for HS2 are pressed ahead with.
Chiltern District Council and its partners are convinced that damaging the AONB can be avoided, and so carried out an independent report to consider a better alternative to the government’s proposed route.
The tunnelling plans are being announced now before Purdah comes into play – the time before an election during which election candidates cannot make any announcements about new initiatives.
Councillor Darby said: “As of March 30, we have Purdah, so we have to be very careful what we do and say. It’s a case of getting it out publicly, otherwise we cannot do anything until May.”
STILL FIGHTING: People gathered here at Amersham Free Church are among thopse around Bucks launching a campaign to minimise
the impact of HS2