HS2 Update for December 2010
Statement by Wendover Parish Council
Wendover Parish Council is opposed to any HS2 route which would be detrimental to the community of Wendover Fiona Lippmann, Clerk to Wendover Parish Council, 1 November 2010
No2 supports HS2
From Monday 22nd November and then every Monday until Christmas No2 will be doing our bit to raise funds for the HS2 campaign. Every coffee we sell will raise money for HS2. Here’s the deal, we will provide the coffee, but we don’t charge you – instead you make a donation to the HS2 campaign and sign the petition.
Christmas cards will be on sale shortly in No2 to raise funds for HS2 and Chiltern MS Centre, please support your local community
The Government has confirmed it intends to press ahead with plans for a new high-speed rail line, despite making major cuts to other public services. By the time you read this, the Transport Secretary may have announced which of the shortlisted routes will be the subject of the consultation next year. If, as expected, it is the ‘preferred’ route through the Chilterns, Wendover and the surrounding villages will face their biggest challenge in modern times.
This line, if chosen, will not pass unnoticed on ground level, or in a cutting. Raised 10 metres (32 feet) above ground on a viaduct, with overhead gantries several further metres above the viaduct, it will tower over Wendover. But unlike the existing line of pylons, through which it will run, it will not be a silent presence. When the sound of a high-speed train travelling at 250mph was demonstrated at an outdoor event in Great Missenden , the recording couldn’t be played at full volume for health and safety reasons.
We hope to have more information on the consultation in time for January’s Wendover News. In the meantime, please ask your friends and family across the UK to write to their MPs about HS2. It’s important that MPs representing constituencies not along the route receive letters about HS2, so they know it is of concern to people across the UK. The cost (up to £34 billion just for the London-Birmingham stretch) makes it questionable on financial grounds alone, especially when other services face drastic cuts and rail fares will have to rise steeply to help pay for it. £750 million will be spent this Parliament alone on design and consultancy work.
Groups work together to fight HS2
More than 50 local action groups along the proposed route are now fighting HS2, alongside other groups such as the Chiltern Society, Chiltern Countryside Group and County and District councils. It is clear that the groups need to work together if we are to succeed: Wendover HS2 participated in several joint events in October and November, including a cross-Chilterns meeting organised by the HS2 Action Alliance, a summit on the environmental impact of HS2 organised by the Bucks councils, a rally in Great Missenden and a high-speed rail lobby day at Westminster.
The chairmen of all the local groups also meet together regularly. At the Lobby Day at Westminster, experts put the case against high-speed rail to MPs and ministers. Local participants were astonished when the Transport Secretary, talking about using ‘existing transport corridors’ for the route, likened the A413 to the M40! At the environment summit, Sir Brian Briscoe, Chairman of HS2 Ltd, admitted that the line would wreak enormous environmental damage on Buckinghamshire but would bring no benefits to the county.
Wendover HS2 is continuing its campaign to raise funds to fight HS2. We are now able to take credit and debit card payments at www.wendoverhs2.org. Alternatively, you can send a cheque to ‘Wendover HS2’ to: Carol Clark, Treasurer, Wendover HS2, 36 Ellesborough Road, Wendover, Bucks HP22 6EL, or, if you would like to make a direct bank payment, please email Carol on CCBaz4957@aol.com. It is clear that this is going to be a long, expensive fight.
Wendover HS2 market stalls
The Wendover HS2 team will be present at the late-night shopping event on Wed 1 Dec and will be manning market stalls on Manor Waste on Sat 4 Dec and Thu 16 Dec. Come along and hear the latest about HS2.
Possible letter to Prime Minister et al
This letter has been circulating the emails and may serve as a model if you wish to write to the Prime Minister:
The Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
18th November 2010
Proper Public Consultation on whether HS2 is right for the UK
Dear Prime Minister,
Like you, I share your belief in trusting people and local democracy. Local people should be given the chance to have a real, open debate on the major issues that matter to them and their communities.
High speed rail is no different. We need to have a full debate about this project – not just about the route, but about whether we need it in principle and whether there are better alternatives, especially in these times of financial hardship.
The previous Labour government had a reputation for putting the “con” into consultation, and all too often ignoring the wishes of local people. The people of Wendover are watching closely to see whether you are, as you promised, different, or whether this is just more of the same old “Whitehall knows best”. We hope you will see sense and keep to your word.
I am copying this letter to your own as my local MP and Patrick McLoughlin as the Conservative Party Chief Whip.
I look forward to receiving your collective assurances that a proper, full and open debate about HS2 will happen rather than a consultation to merely comply with legal process that has a foregone conclusion.
CC: Patrick McLoughlin, MP
CC: Your own, MP
by William Blake
And did those feet in ancient time.
Walk upon England’s mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On England’s pleasant pastures seen!
And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?
Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!
I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In England’s green & pleasant Land
Ode to HS2
by Ruth Holroyd
And did those trains in modern time
Slash through England’s hillsides green
Because we need to get the man
Faster from London to Aberdeen
And did the iron horse shine bright
Reflecting views of distant spires
And was HS2 builded here,
Through England’s dark forgotten shires
Bring me my laptop shining cold
Bring me a bill from government
Bring me the yes: o world unfold
Before our budget is all spent!
I will not cease from progress right
Nor shall my pen sleep in my hand
Till we can travel faster up and down
Our lost, once green and pleasant land