Community boards to quiz East West Rail Minister

Chris Heaton-Harris MP, Minister of State for the Department of Transport with responsibility for the East West rail project will take centre stage at a meeting of a joint Community Board working group tonight.

The East West Rail and HS2 Joint Working Group comprises members of Buckingham & Villages, Haddenham & Waddesdon and Winslow & Villages Community Boards. The areas covered by these boards are all directly affected by the East West Rail and/or HS2 programmes.

Similar to the attendance of Andrew Stevenson MP at a previous meeting of the group, where he faced questions on the High Speed 2 (HS2) project, at the meeting on Tuesday (15 June), Mr Heaton-Harris will be asked a number of questions on the East West Rail programme in a half hour slot at the beginning of the meeting.

Members of the working group were invited to submit questions for the minister in advance with four then selected to be asked. Topics to be addressed include:

  • Will a direct rail link to Aylesbury be included in the final EWR blueprint as was previously indicated?
  • What cash is going to be made available to make up for the continued disruption to local residents and businesses and the negative impact on the local environment?
  • Are plans in place to continue with improvements towards engagement and interaction with local communities and organisations as the project continues?
  • Will HS2 and EWR work together to minimise the ongoing disruption to residents in Quainton and can clarification be given on when the much needed bridge repairs can take place?


The joint working group meets monthly and comprises 30 members ranging from Buckinghamshire Council members to residents and Parish Councillors. The meetings are also attended by Greg Smith MP and representatives from Thames Valley Police and Buckinghamshire Council’s Programme Team.

Deputy Cabinet Member for Transport (HS2/EWR), Peter Martin, said: “This is another fantastic example of how our Community Boards are able to act as the voice of local residents and to raise their concerns directly with policy and decision makers at the highest level. As with HS2 many of our local residents are worried about the impact of the work going on in their community as these projects are implemented. Through us they are able to get their voices heard and some of their queries answered.”

The virtual meeting starts at 6pm on Tuesday 15 June and is open for anyone to attend. Click here to join the meeting.