‘I’ll apply tunnel pressure’
Tory mayoral candidate ‘understands’ the anger against HS2
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.”