HS2 se­lect com­mit­tee hears con­cerns on trip to Wen­dover and Ayles­bury

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - By Jack Abell jack.abell@trin­i­tymir­

HUN­DREDS of peo­ple lined the streets when the HS2 se­lect com­mit­tee vis­ited Bucks.

The group of MPs went to Wen­dover and Ayles­bury last Thurs­day to see sites set to be af­fected by HS2, while also talk­ing to peo­ple liv­ing in the area.

A pre­sen­ta­tion was given for the group at the 700-year-old St Mary’s Church, in Ayles­bury, at which the group was asked to lis­ten as a demon­stra­tion of the likely noise from HS2 trains as they pass through the vil­lage was played.

Wil­liam Avery, an an­tiHS2 cam­paigner liv­ing in Ayles­bury, told the com­mit­tee: “The noise from the line in Wen­dover will have a se­ri­ous im­pact on this vil­lage. You will be able to hear trains go­ing past ev­ery minute of the day. In this church it will have an im­pact on com­mu­nity events, but across Wen­dover it will be in­cred­i­bly noisy.

“The closer you get to the line, the worse the noise will be.”

The MPs were also told that dis­rup­tion and noise caused by the build­ing of the line, as well as the trains when it is up and run­ning, would have a neg­a­tive im­pact on Wen­dover House School, which teaches pupils with spe­cial ed­u­ca­tional needs.

Prin­ci­pal of the school, Ian McCaul, said: “I feel very strongly about this is­sue. The pupils at the site will be ex­tremely dis­rupted by the noise.

“That school is a finely tuned ma­chine. To have con­struc­tion traf­fic near the school, and then a train line near it, presents a num­ber of sig­nif­i­cant risks to the pupils and to the staff which are be­yond our con­trol, yet we will be ac­count­able for them.”

The com­mit­tee then moved on to the cen­tre of Wen­dover where they chat­ted to peo­ple, and then to Ayles­bury, where they stopped to look at sites through which HS2 is set to run.

Chair­man of the com­mit­tee, Robert Syms MP, said: “Peo­ple feel very strongly about HS2 here and we’ve been pleased to lis­ten to ev­ery­thing that they have to say.

“Ev­ery­where we go, peo­ple want to pro­tect where they live. It is the same is­sues ev­ery­where. Ev­ery area thinks they are the worst af­fected.

“But we lis­ten and we take ev­ery­thing on board and we un­der­stand the strength of feel­ing.”

OUT AND ABOUT: The chair­man of the HS2 se­lect com­mit­tee, Robert Syms MP, ad­dresses the au­di­ence in St Mary’s Church, Ayles­bury, above left, while the group of MPs, above right, meet and chat with peo­ple in Wen­dover.

ON SITE: The com­mit­tee looks at part of the HS2 route through the Wen­dover coun­try­side.

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