HS2: Your ques­tions an­swered on high speed rail link

Big turnout for high speed train link in­for­ma­tion day but Stop

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

HUN­DREDS of res­i­dents from across Hilling­don bor­ough went to Ick­en­ham to have their HS2 ques­tions an­swered – be it by the rail link them­selves or Stop HS2 cam­paign­ers.

HS2 ex­perts and cam­paign­ers went head to head by host­ing in­for­ma­tion events on the same day on Tues­day March 8 at Ick­en­ham Vil­lage Hall.

Lot­tie Jones, of Hilling­don Against HS2 said the Stop HS2 cam­paign­ers would be out in force to stop staff from the high speed rail link “spin­ning a yarn”.

She said: “Un­for­tu­nately, as usual, the staff at HS2 can’t an­swer any ques­tions and they’re not able to help out the res­i­dents who need that in­for­ma­tion.

“So we’re here to sup­port those res­i­dents and hope­fully give them the de­tail that they need.”

The event was well at­tended, with 200 peo­ple cram­ming them­selves into the vil­lage hall within the first hour and nearly 900 peo­ple at­tend­ing in to­tal.

HS2 had staff who were ex­perts in en­gi­neer­ing and con­struc­tion on hand to an­swer ques­tions, with maps and in­for­ma­tion boards.

Jeff Creak, prin­ci­pal of Hilling­don Out­door Ac­tiv­ity Cen­tre (HOAC), which is set to move to Den­ham so the rail link’s viaduct can pass through the cur­rent site, went to the event hop­ing to get some an­swers to de­tails re­gard­ing the lease and HOAC’s move to Buck­ing­hamshire.

He said: “We hope to achieve a sim­i­lar re­la­tion­ship we had in Hilling­don with Buck­ing­hamshire Coun­cil.

“Hilling­don need to be thanked for all they’ve done for HOAC and we hope that we can have the same sup­port in Bucks.”

Own­ers of 14th cen­tury Brack­en­bury House in Ick­en­ham, Jean and Eric Gus­tavson, at­tended the event as they face ma­jor blight from the Harvil Road con­struc­tion site – with­out com­pen­sa­tion.

Brack­en­bury House is si­t­u­ated in a ru­ral set­ting and looks over fields and ma­ture trees, some aged 400 years, which will be­come a build­ing and con­struc­tion site un­til 2024.

Mr Gus­tavson said: “We’re re­ceiv­ing no com­pen­sa­tion for the con­struc­tion phase as HS2 say it’ll only be tem­po­rary dis­rup­tion.

“We’ll be el­i­gi­ble once the train is run­ning... in 10 years. Well we’ll be dead by then.”

Mr Gus­tavson say HS2 are an “in­com­pe­tent and de­vi­ous” or­gan­i­sa­tion, who still have in­com­plete plans, six years on from the an­nounce­ment of the pro­ject.

He con­tin­ued: “Once it’s gone through Par­lia­ment they can change any­thing and we’ll have no re­dress at all.

“I’m a tax­payer and wouldn’t be spend­ing my money on this ridicu­lous train to cause dis­rup­tion to ev­ery­body’s lives.”

Arthur Dark, of Break­s­peare Road South, lives 600m south of the would-be HS2, and asked ex­perts: “How much noise there will be for the op­er­a­tion of HS2 would I ex­pe­ri­ence?”

But he said HS2 didn’t give him an ex­act an­swer, ex­plain­ing a map show­ing a noise cor­ri­dor ei­ther side of the track with a cut off point.

HS2 have sub­mit­ted that there will be a noise cor­ri­dor where res­i­dents

will suf­fer 40 deci­bels within the shaded area, ei­ther side of the line, but Mr Dark says noise will con­tinue past this on a slid­ing scale.

He said: “The map shows a great big noise cor­ri­dor, but be­cause I live south of it, HS2 say there won’t be a prob­lem.

“The noise cor­ri­dor wouldn’t end at the line surely? The map shows 40 deci­bels but doesn’t have the full pic­ture.

“It’s not for HS2 to de­cide what is tol­er­a­ble – it’s for the peo­ple who live there to de­cide.”

Join­ing res­i­dents and hear­ing their is­sues at the event were GLA can­di­dates, as well as lo­cal MP Nick Hurd.

The Ruis­lip, North­wood and Pin­ner

We’re re­ceiv­ing no com­pen­sa­tion for the con­struc­tion phase... we’ll be el­i­gi­ble once the train is run­ning... we’ll be dead by then

n IN­SIDE OUT­SIDE: The HS2 of­fi­cials held their in­for­ma­tion day in­side Ick­en­ham Vil­lage Hall, the cam­paign­ers against the train link set up stall out­side

n DIF­FER­ENT VIEW: Stop HS2 pro­vided their own maps out­side the hall and an­swered ques­tions

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