Apol­ogy over tun­nel er­ror ‘does not go far enough’

HS2 lawyer ad­mits plans are wrong

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - by Kather­ine Cle­men­tine kather­ine.cle­men­tine@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A LAWYER for the high speed rail pro­ject ‘HS2’ has been forced to apol­o­gise pub­licly to a Ruis­lip res­i­dent for an er­ror in their plans.

The apol­ogy was made to Keri Bren­nan, of Round­ways, af­ter she, and her hus­band Terry, spoke at an in­di­vid­ual pe­ti­tion at the HS2 Se­lect Com­mit­tee at Par­lia­ment.

Ti­mothy Mould QC, Lead Coun­sel for the Depart­ment for Trans­port said: “I showed the Com­mit­tee an ex­hibit of a cross sec­tion which gave a di­men­sion be­tween the run­ning tun­nel clos­est to her prop­erty and the sur­face of the ground.

“We have, I re­gret to say, dis­cov­ered that the di­men­sion as shown on that ex­hibit was in­cor­rect, and it ex­ag­ger­ated the dis­tance be­tween the run­ning tun­nel and the sur­face of the ground.”

In 2013, HS2’s en­vi­ron­men­tal state­ment put for­ward that the pro­posed tun­nel would be 4.4 kilo­me­tres long through Ruis­lip, with an av­er­age depth of 30 me­tres. Mrs Bren­nan feels that pe­ti­tion­ers and cam­paign­ers have been mis­led for three years.

She said: “In 2012, they an­nounced that a tun­nel would cut through the Ruis­lip stretch at about 30 me­tres deep and maps showed this. Twenty-two months later we re­ceived maps again so it’s been con­stantly re­in­forced all the way through that our tun­nel has not changed.

“I’m wor­ried about how deep the tun­nel re­ally is and why they haven’t told us un­til now. They would have let me pe­ti­tion based on that wrong map and I wouldn’t have known.

“There’s hun­dreds of res­i­dents who now know about the tun­nel depth thanks to us and they’re all pan­ick­ing. It’s a hor­ri­ble feel­ing.”

Nick Hurd, MP for Ruis­lip, North­wood and Pin­ner, told the hear­ing: “You have heard from other MPs, about fail­ings in the way that HS2 have en­gaged with res­i­dents. It does leave us with a prob­lem, which is a very low residue of trust as we go for­ward.”

Uxbridge and South Ruis­lip MP, Boris John­son, said: “I have to say that the feel­ing of dis­trust has been in­ten­si­fied just in the last 24 hours by this rev­e­la­tion that the ex­ist­ing pro­posed tun­nel will turn out to be only half as deep, as was first un­der­stood to be the case.

“It’s a great pity and I hope that mat­ter can be speed­ily re­solved and a proper un­der­stand­ing of what ex­actly this tun­nel will de­liver by way of pro­tec­tion to those res­i­dents can be reached.”

Lot­tie Jones, who sub­mit­ted a pe­ti­tion about her prop­erty on Al­mond Close, said the HS2 apol­ogy “doesn’t go far enough”.

She added: “If their engi­neers couldn’t get that ba­sic mea­sure­ment right, how can we pos­si­bly be­lieve their pre­dic­tions for how our prop­er­ties are go­ing to be af­fected?”

Alastair Cowan, for HS2 Ltd said: “It has come to our at­ten­tion that plans pro­vided to three prop­er­ties in Ruis­lip in­cor­rectly show the HS2 tun­nels as be­tween five and 15 me­tres deeper than they ac­tu­ally will be. The plans have now been cor­rected and we have apol­o­gised for the mis­take.”

n CON­CERN: Above, MPs Boris John­son and Nick Hurd. Right, Keri Bren­nan

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.