HS2 – August 2020
HS2 gathers pace as it recruits staff to deliver the project and engages with contractors to tender large packages of works.
The Court of Appeal decided to hear Chris Packham’s appeal regarding an application for permission for judicial review of the Prime Minister’s decision to proceed with the HS2 railway project.
The hearing took place 8 July 2020.
Lord Justice Lewison held that the matter is of “considerable public interest” and ordered that a rolled-up hearing be listed before mid-July in light of the fact that further works by HS2 Ltd and its contractors are scheduled to take place.
The Working Group
The Wendover team has continued refining our presentation and to prepare our presentations as requested by The Transport Select Committee and The Treasury. One of the reasons that people are reluctant to engage with the enormity of HS2 is the complication. We have therefore designed, Dave Hindle takes most of the credit here, a graphic at a glance comparison.
The graphic can be found following the direct link www.wendover-pc.gov.uk/post/simplified-representation-of-the-mined-tunnel-comparison-with-the-proposed-hs2-scheme
Sarah Olney MP (Lib Dem, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport) has offered to meet with us, as has Julie Marson MP. (Treasury Committee). The Working Group also had a meeting with Cheryl Gillan MP who is still a supporter of our efforts.
We have, owing to the reluctance of our MP to ask questions of government on the Mined Tunnel, asked certain Lords to ask them for us. The process requires us to develop the questions with our lobbyist. The Lord then takes them to the House and asks them in writing. The government’s transport representative in the Lords answers them also in writing.
The round of questions can be found by visiting by following the direct link www.wendover-pc.gov.uk/post/tabled-written-questions-put-to-the-government
Michael has developed his report on the mined tunnel to a “Final” state which can be found by following the direct link www.wendover-pc.gov.uk/post/read-michael-byng-s-report-proving-a-mined-tunnel-is-cheaper-quicker-and-greener
Face to Face Meeting
We are continuing in our attempt to get a meaningful face to face meeting with both DfT/HS2 and with the contractors. Before taking meetings of this kind it is important for us to have the latest data on noise, hydrology, viaduct design etc.
Knowing that the lack of stability of water levels at Hampden Pond causes concerns in the village I asked EKFB (Eiffage Kier Ferrovial BAM JV, the main civil contractors for HS2 in Bucks) engineers to consider whether it would be mutually beneficial to pass some of their diverted spring water through the pond. Surprise, surprise, they are considering just that. They’re not sure if it’s feasible but it’s being considered.
As I have reported previously HS2/EKFB intend to use Bentonite, a slurry compound that waterproofs and/or lubricates, during the drilling process for the 50m deep pile foundations for the viaduct at Smalldean. Bentonite is not quite as innocuous as HS2 would have us believe. Network Rail know that Bentonite in watercourses used for human or animal consumption is hazardous to health. I’m told that quite a few homes and farms in the Smalldean area rely on bore holes for their water. I have had a meeting with Simon Mathews of EKFB and discussed the abstraction issue. EKFB are aware that there is a problem and that this problem is exacerbated by poor records. There is a relatively new necessity to record and to license bore holes but none are recorded in the WPC area. If you have a bore hole for your house do let us know. This info can be treated in confidence.
So, with issues of transparency and fairness. Groundwater, flooding, redirection and now pollution. Habitat destruction. Noise, the permanent strangulation of the A413, the ruin of the Cricket Club I haven’t had room for my update on Mark Thurston.
Wendover Parish Council