HS2 Update – April 2020 – Engagement

Can you remember engagement? HS2 Ltd have always been a bit patchy at it but Eiffage Kier (EK) always appeared to be as open as commercial diktats allowed. But that was then, and this is now. HS2’s engagement guy, Vernon, has become the invisible man. EK are not very forthcoming on the progress their design team are making on big issues like noise. I understand that Wendover Cricket Club are still being messed about and that landowners, who allow access to their fields, still go uncompensated. There appears to be a major disconnect between what the monkey does and what the organ grinder says. Parliament wanted, and HS2 promised, to be good neighbours. Just hot air, I think.

The council has resolved to continue with our lobbying of politicians for a further three months, Coronavirus permitting. We are still determined to achieve a round table meeting of engineering experts to thrash out the merits of our Mined Tunnel Proposal, once and for all.

The working group has been pushing forward, together with our parishes north of Wendover, on Hydrogeology and the potential for HS2 to flood parts of Aylesbury. We are engaging with AVDC and Bucks CC councillors to mitigate this potential result of HS2’s Green Tunnel design. The Mined Tunnel design that we are promoting completely mitigates the flood risk.

We are building a working relationship with Coldharbour Parish Council, as they are likely to be the recipient of the water that is to be diverted by the green tunnel towards Stokes Brook.
We are approaching the Environment Agency to set up a meeting to discuss Hydrogeology and we have BCC’s Flood Officer contacting them too.

We have met with Greg Smith MP for Buckingham. Greg is a Wendover resident and a determined opponent of HS2. He supports our Mined Tunnel proposal.

Following the findings of the Independent Complaints Assessor on the WPC complaint, I’ve had a letter from HS2’s CEO Mark Thurston. He accepts all of the shortcomings highlighted in the adjudication, he tells us that the system is improved and that it won’t happen again, and he apologises a lot. So, a result of sorts. Both the Assessors report and Mark Thurston letter can be found on the WPC website at www.wendover-pc.gov.uk/hs2.

Tom Walsh