HS2: Boris meets to dis­cuss high speed rail con­cerns

Cam­paign­ers air their griev­ances dur­ing his visit

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

BORIS John­son had a tour of Ruis­lip to see for him­self the ef­fects HS2 will have on res­i­dents.

The Uxbridge and South Ruis­lip MP, joined by Hilling­don coun­cil­lors, met cam­paign­ers against the high-speed rail link on Fri­day, Jan­uary 8.

House­hold­ers in Herl­wyn Av­enue, Lawn Close, Al­mond Close, Round­ways and West End Road had a chance to put their con­cerns for­ward to their lo­cal MP, who is in his fi­nal months as Lon­don mayor.

Lot­tie Jones of Hilling­don Against HS2, said: “We dis­cussed the ef­fect of not be­ing able to achieve the much-needed mit­i­ga­tion of an ex­tended tun­nel through Hilling­don and the Colne Val­ley.

“We went through var­i­ous maps to help put the prob­lems into per­spec­tive and we felt he very much un­der­stood the frus­tra­tion we still face with HS2 Ltd’s il­log­i­cal plan­ning.”

Mr John­son was told HS2 has ‘mis­led res­i­dents’ about the depth of the tun­nel and met traders who told him of their wor­ries that util­ity works would af­fect their busi­nesses.

HS2 has al­lo­cated £30mil­lion for a com­mu­nity fund for the whole route which cam­paign­ers say will go ‘nowhere’.

Mrs Jones added: “How do you quan­tify the loss from a huge park to a lit­tle shop? We’re try­ing to per­suade Boris to claim from a spe­cific Hilling­don pot to help peo­ple – then it can be al­lo­cated where it’s needed.

“He said he can get be­hind us on that.”

At the next stop, the group showed Boris the prob­lems that the util­ity works could cause to the park and green space ‘Ba­nana Park’ and high­lighted the flood­ing that of­ten oc­curs un­der the bridges at West End Road and Bridgewater Road.

Boris said: “If the govern­ment in­sists on press­ing ahead with what is now gen­er­ally con­sid­ered to be the wrong route for HS2 then much more needs to be done to mit­i­gate the ef­fects on res­i­dents and busi­nesses. Frankly, HS2’s ap­proach to the de­liv­ery of this pro­ject is woe­fully in­ad­e­quate.”

Hilling­don Coun­cil leader Ray Pud­di­foot, who ac­com­pa­nied Mr John­son, called the HS2 pro­ject ‘a ter­ri­ble waste of money’, but added: “Boris John­son will put the needs and con­cerns of the peo­ple above this ab­so­lute folly.”

n DIS­CUS­SION: Boris John­son met Stop HS2 cam­paign­ers in Ruis­lip last week Pho­tos by Alis­tair Wil­son www.buyapho­totms.co.uk

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