Down but not out in HS2 tunnel fight
Campaigners ‘firmly believe’ there is still a case to be made
CAMPAIGNERS have issued a call to arms for an eleventh-hour push to bury HS2 under the Chilterns Area of Natural Beauty.
Last week, the HS2 select committee, which has the power to recommend changes to the line before it is built, said that it was not convinced of the need for the tunnel that campaigners say would lessen the impact of HS2 on the area.
Chairman of the select committee Robert Syms said although some petitioners are yet to be heard on the subject, it is ‘unlikely that an overwhelming case will be made out for the long tunnel options as we move forward into further hearings’.
Campaigners, however, are refusing to be beaten and are encouraging more people to come forward with specific of examples of how the existing HS2 construction works will affect them, and how a tunnel would be of benefit to their lives.
Jim Conboy, of Amersham Against HS2 and the Chesham Society, said: “We believe there is still plenty to fight for.
“The chairman has said that it is unlikely, but in the autumn, people from the Chesham and Amersham areas are scheduled to petition the committee and we firmly believe there is still a case to be made here.
“It might be a case of highlighting specific cases of how people will be affected, so we want people to come forward and tell us what the impact will be on them.”
Mr Conboy said it is possible the argument could change from the impact on the Area of Natural Beauty to examples where children are living on the opposite side of the line to their school and face years of their journeys being disrupted by construction, or cases of people being forced to move because of the project.
He said: “We have to keep fighting for the tunnel, and that is what we are going to do.
“We have to show exactly why we need it and how people living in this area will benefit from it.”
If you would like to get in touch with the action group, go to www. cheshamsociety.org.uk and follow the link.
FIGHTING ON: Chesham society’s HS2 expert Jim Conboy