‘A speeded-up ver­sion of 19th cen­tury tech­nol­ogy’

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

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The project was granted Royal As­sent last week, mean­ing work on the line be­tween Lon­don and Birm­ing­ham will be­gin in the spring.

Joe Rukin, Stop HS2 cam­paign man­ager, said: “Quite sim­ply this is a ter­ri­ble project which will not de­liver on its prom­ises, come in years late, miles over bud­get, cre­ate havoc dur­ing con­struc­tion and has dis­as­trous en­vi­ron­men­tal con­se­quences.

“The fight against Phase Two of HS2 will con­tinue, but on Phase One, as all these things come to pass, all we can look for­ward to is say­ing ‘We told you so’.”

Penny Gaines, chair of Stop HS2 added: “The fun­da­men­tal prob­lem with HS2 is that the case for it has never been ex- amined prop­erly.

“Dur­ing the pas­sage of the bill there has been a huge growth in al­ter­na­tive ways of think­ing about trans­port, just as we have been say­ing all along.

“The Gov­ern­ment is plan­ning to spend many bil­lions of tax­pay­ers’ money on a speeded up ver­sion of 19th cen­tury tech­nol­ogy.”

“In the North­ern Pow­er­house area, peo­ple are talk­ing about the need for east-west links, rather then an­other route to Lon­don.

“It’s not too late to can­cel HS2 and look at the real trans­port needs of the coun­try.”

A state­ment from the Chilterns Con­ser­va­tion Board (CCB) reads: “The board is dis­ap­pointed the bill has re­ceived Royal As­sent.

“The CCB has worked very hard with its part­ners within the Chilterns Area of Out­stand­ing Nat­u­ral Beauty to lessen the im­pact of HS2 pro­pos­als on this in­ter­na­tion­ally sig­nif­i­cant land­scape.

“Although changes were made to the orig­i­nal pro­pos­als to ad­dress some of the con­cerns of the CCB and oth­ers, we have al­ways said that a fully bored tun­nel un­der the Chilterns would be the best way to re­duce harm.

Sue Holden of the CCB said: “We would like to thank all the res­i­dents and lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions who have fought so long and so hard along­side the CCB and lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to pro­tect the Chilterns Area of Out­stand­ing Nat­u­ral Beauty from the im­pacts of HS2.

“Whilst deeply sad­dened by the de­ci­sion and ac­knowl­edg­ing that there will be per­ma­nent changes to our very spe­cial land­scape, we will now turn our ef­forts to mak­ing the very best of the sit­u­a­tion, work­ing as part of the Chilterns Re­view Group which we and lo­cal au­thor­i­ties pushed so hard for.”

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