Cam­paign­ers to join HS2 ques­tion time

Pro­test­ers to counter ar­gu­ments for high speed line

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

RES­I­DENTS with ques­tions about HS2 will have them an­swered by ex­perts, as well as Stop HS2 cam­paign­ers who will stop them ‘spin­ning a yarn’.

Staff from HS2 Ltd will be avail­able to talk about how the pro­ject is pro­gress­ing and an­swer ques­tions as part of an on­go­ing ‘pro­gramme of in­for­ma­tion shar­ing’ with lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties all along the 140-mile route of the first phase.

All Hilling­don res­i­dents are wel­come to at­tend the event, on Tues­day, March 8 at Ick­en­ham Vil­lage Hall, from 2pm to 7pm.

HS2 CEO Si­mon Kirby said: “A new high speed rail net­work will bring sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits for the coun­try, but we do un­der­stand that it af­fects peo­ples’ lives.

“We want to keep on talk­ing to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties di­rectly about the pro­pos­als and th­ese events are a chance to do so. Our spe­cial­ists will be on hand to help and I would en­cour­age peo­ple to come along if they can.”

At the event, HS2 Ltd staff from a range of dis­ci­plines in­clud­ing en­gi­neer­ing, en­vi­ron­ment and prop­erty will be on hand to an­swer any queries.

But Hilling­don Against HS2 cam­paign­ers are invit­ing may­oral and GLA can­di­dates along to a counter event along­side the in­for­ma­tion day to ‘raise more aware­ness’.

Ruis­lip res­i­dent and cam­paigner Lot­tie Jones con­firmed the event is not a protest but an of­fer of sup­port to res­i­dents.

She told the Gazette: “From past ex­pe­ri­ences when they’ve brought th­ese road­shows to town and giv­ing out in­for­ma­tion, they can never an­swer ques­tions, and res­i­dents of­ten get re­ally frus­trated by th­ese events.

“We’ll out­side of­fer­ing sup­port, in­for­ma­tion and de­tails they’ll be look­ing for, but prob­a­bly won’t get in­side the hall.”

Mrs Jones, who pe­ti­tioned at the HS2 se­lect com­mit­tee, went to a re­cent sim­i­lar meet­ing in Chal­font St Peter to find out what res­i­dents can ex­pect.

She said: “Over the past

How they try and put

a pos­i­tive spin on it is any­one’s guess, but that’s what they

want to do”

be five years we’ve prob­a­bly had three or four of th­ese events and they’ve all been very sim­i­lar.

“In Chal­font St Peter, there were no fa­mil­iar faces, the staff couldn’t read maps and they didn’t know the area.”

The Hilling­don Against HS2 cam­paigner says res­i­dents have been in touch up­set at the Ick­en­ham event tim­ings.

“It fin­ishes at 7pm and peo­ple who don’t get home from work early can’t get to it. Why don’t they do it on a Satur­day or un­til 8pm?”

She added: “We want to stop HS2 spin­ning a yarn as they al­ways do.

“How they try and put a pos­i­tive spin on it is any­one’s guess, but that’s what they want to do and tell peo­ple that it’s go­ing to be a won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence, with how they’re go­ing to come and dig up half the bor­ough and clog up the roads with HGVs and stop peo­ple get­ting to and from work.”

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