‘I’ll ap­ply tun­nel pres­sure’

Tory may­oral can­di­date ‘un­der­stands’ the anger against HS2

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

ZAC Gold­smith has vowed to put pres­sure on the govern­ment for an HS2 tun­nel ex­ten­sion in Hilling­don af­ter meet­ing res­i­dents and cam­paign­ers.

The Con­ser­va­tive may­oral can­di­date met res­i­dents in Ruis­lip at the home of Stop HS2 cam­paigner, Lottie Jones on Wed­nes­day April 13.

Cam­paign­ers made their feel­ings known to the cur­rent Rich­mond Park MP, shar­ing per­sonal sto­ries about how badly they are af­fected by HS2 and the poor treat­ment they are get­ting from HS2 Ltd.

Mrs Jones, from Hilling­don Against HS2, said: “Some dis­cussed the is­sue of com­pen­sa­tion but most wanted to let him know how an­gry they are about his over­all sup­port of HS2 given his rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing an en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist.

“They also ex­pressed how dis­ap­pointed they were at not be­ing rep­re­sented enough by lo­cal MPs when it came to the vote.”

Cam­paign­ers were left feel­ing ‘an­gry and let down’ af­ter both MPs – Nick Hurd and Boris John­son – ab­stained from the HS2 third read­ing vote, which was passed through with an ‘over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity’ in just 37 min­utes.

Mrs Jones said: “While Zac is sym­pa­thetic to the Stop HS2 cause, he made it clear his way for­ward is to keep pres­sure on govern­ment to try and con­vince them ex­tend­ing the Northolt/Ruis­lip tun­nel is the best op­tion.

“He, along with Nick Hurd, Boris John­son and Hilling­don Coun­cil, will be putting our case to Pa­trick McLough­lin in per­son, so we will have to wait and see what in­flu­ence he can have.

“In the mean­time, Hilling­don Against HS2 will be mak­ing sure he has the in­sight into how im­por­tant it is to lo­cal peo­ple that we get bet­ter mit­i­ga­tion for Hilling­don if HS2 has to go ahead.”

Mr Gold­smith has an­nounced he will meet with the Sec­re­tary of State for Trans­port, Pa­trick McLough­lin, at the end of the month.

He said: “I met res­i­dents and cam­paign­ers in Ruis­lip to lis­ten to their views so that I can stand up for them when I make the case to the govern­ment.

“I’ll ap­ply max­i­mum pres­sure to en­sure that HS2 is tun­nelled un­der Hilling­don, pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment and our com­mu­nity.”

Mr Gold­smith knows there is a lot of anger among res­i­dents and busi­nesses and says he ‘un­der­stands’ that.

He added: “I want to min­imise the po­ten­tial dis­rup­tion that HS2 could cause and my ac­tion plan for Greater Lon­don will de­liver for Hilling­don res­i­dents. I am the only can­di­date who can work with the govern­ment to pro­tect Lon­don’s econ­omy and in­vest­ment in trans­port in­fras­truc­ture.”

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