MP pushes for Chiltern tun­nel to be ex­tended

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

CH­ERYL Gil­lan used the Au­tumn State­ment de­bate to press the Chan­cel­lor of the Ex­che­quer to ex­tend the tun­nelling of HS2 in or­der to pro­tect the whole of the Chilterns Area of Nat­u­ral Beauty.

Mrs Gil­lan, MP for Che­sham and Amer­sham, took the op­por­tu­nity to quiz Ge­orge Os­borne on the sub­ject.

She said af­ter­wards: “The Chan­cel­lor has at last up­dated the bud­get fig­ure for HS2, which means we know the to­tal bud­get is now at £55.7 bn and I want to see the gov­ern­ment saving money in time and costs by agree­ing the fully bored tun­nel un­der the Chilterns AONB.”

Mrs Gil­lan re­peated the re­quest for more tun­nelling this week in her re­sponses to the sup­ple­men­tary en­vi­ron­men­tal state­ment and the Ad­di­tional Pro­vi­sion Four, which calls for much more to be done in terms of en­vi­ron­men­tal mit­i­ga­tion.

She said: “There is still 8.8km of the Area of Out­stand­ing Nat­u­ral Beauty which is un­pro­tected.”

In her re­sponses Mrs Gil­lan also un­der­lined her con­cerns about the brevity of the con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod, be­cause of what she be­lieves are in­ac­cu­ra­cies and lack of in­for­ma­tion re­lat­ing to traf­fic as­sess­ments.

The in­for­ma­tion on the lat­ter was only re­leased af­ter the dead­line for the pe­ti­tion­ing process.

A hear­ing was held in Par­lia­ment on Wed­nes­day, Novem­ber 25 by the Stand­ing Or­ders Com­mit­tee where the Deputy Speaker held HS2 to ac­count over the miss­ing in­for­ma­tion from some of their doc­u­men­ta­tion.

She said: “It is dif­fi­cult to avoid com­ing to the con­clu­sion that is shared by many of my con­stituents who feel the Hy­brid Bill process is be­ing forced along, lead­ing to in­ac­cu­ra­cies and con­fu­sion.”

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