HS2 – September 2020

There is a school of thought along the lines of “if Government ran the Sahara Desert there’d be a sand shortage”, HS2’s activities would bear that out. Any one who’s followed the HS2 saga won’t be surprised that their Schedule 17 planning application in Hillingdon was found to be wanting, see https://bit.ly/30Rhlwb. The whole HS2 process from petitioning to today has, for them, relied on dodging the facts and a mañana attitude to detail. HS2 is like an archetypal rich kid, indulged in every way. Spoiled by easy money. Not doing its homework and eventually getting caught out. It’s OK though, our government is still behind it and we’re there to pay for it.

Is it just me who finds HS2’s attitude to archeology a bit distasteful? The initial approach is akin to speed dating for carrots. Then there’s the reveal and a kind of 1980’s, Bullseye based, sneering. A kind of “and here’s what you could have won” approach that shows us their/our wonderful discoveries and then snatches them away, because, like the failed contestants of old, perhaps we just weren’t clever enough. Roll the bulldozers.

Good things often come in threes. The three kings, three points for a win in football and the three wise monkeys. HS2 has three new non executive directors. As with everything HS2 their appointment was much delayed.

  • Elaine Holt is an infrastructure specialist
  • ex-BAE Systems chief, Ian King, will be a government representative
  • former MP Tom Harris is the community engagement lead. This latter post is a bit bewildering as HS2 has just put their excruciatingly awful engagement process out of its misery and put the engagement onus onto its contractors.

Still this is HS2 so only time will tell if these three are kings, pointless or monkeys.

There is an idea out there that HS2 is just brushing against communities, farms and natural habitats. That it’s only taking 10% of this nature reserve so thats OK. It’s replanting ancient woodland as it goes. Farmers get most of their land back. This is all lies. HS2 is not going to just brush against anywhere or anyone. Its brutal scale and intense dynamics means that if you’re in or near the HS2 corridor you will be adversely affected by its construction or its operation or both.

HS2 does not have a light touch. Wendover is going to be brushed harder than most. That’s why the irrefutable logic of our Mined Tunnel alternative is so important. We are running out of time though. So once again I need your help.
Grant Shapps is the Transport Minister – Email shappsg@parliament.uk

Andrew Stephenson is minister for HS2 – Email andrew.stephenson.mp@parliament.uk

These are the men bringing HS2 to Wendover. These are the only men that can adopt our Cheaper, Quicker, Greener mined tunnel proposal.

Can I ask you to spare this issue a minute or two because now is the time for you all to let them know that you don’t want their ugly viaduct, you don’t want the years of traffic holdups, don’t want our spring water ruined and the irreparable destruction of our environment.

Let them know what you think about the prospect of intrusive train noise blighting our village every few minutes, forever. You can make a real difference, and save the country a fortune, if you just tell them to consider our Mined Tunnel fairly and to get it built.

Rob Butler is our MP, let him know too. – Email rob.butler.mp@parliament.uk

Tom Walsh
Wendover Parish Council