HS2 update, March 2019

Questions to be answered by HS2 Ltd

Our MP David Lidington, Theresa May’s deputy, has warned that a proposed reduction in the number of trains running along High Speed 2 will “seriously undermine” the case for continuing with the project. In a letter to Mark Thurston, HS2’s chief executive, David has asked HS2 Ltd, the government-owned firm behind the scheme, to set out the “current business case” for the project, after reports that the company had suggested it could cut the hourly number of trains by a fifth to prevent costs from spiralling out of control.

It could be said that the big idea that was HS2 has been shrinking from the moment of an earlier decision to cut out the link to HS1 and thus, onward to Europe. Even with that massive reduction in scope and expense we hear that costs are rising out of control. In some areas less is more but with HS2 less is just less. We hear that lower train speed and a reduced level of operational frequency may be necessary to cut cost and that the ambitious HS2 cycle path that seemed to have so much traction with Parliament during the petitioning period is no more.

Is it just me that wonders whether the parliamentarians would have been quite so keen to give the go ahead for this project in its current reduced circumstances?

Wendover was an early adopter when it came to believing that for HS2, cost is a runaway train. HS2 Ltd say that they’re looking for savings. May I suggest that they’re not looking in all of the right places. Wendover’s Mined Tunnel proposal offers them a saving in the £100’s of millions. Surely it’s time that they explained precisely why they are so dismissive of our Cheaper, Quicker, Simpler and much more environmentally sound solution.

Help us to reach our goalWendover’s next goal is to push, with David Lidington’s help, for a face to face meeting with the DfT, HS2, EK. A meeting where their technical experts and our OTB Engineering tunnelling experts can thrash out a way forward that benefits everyone.

You can help us achieve this important goal by emailing or writing to Nusrat Ghani MP . and David Lidington MPnusrat.ghani.mp@parliament.ukdavid.lidington.mp@parliament.ukAsk them, “When will a technical, round table, meeting of these experts happen?”

Many MPs and Members of the House of Lords are helping us by asking these and other questions of ministers and HS2 Ltd but your voice is every bit as important and will help us achieve this vitally important meeting.

The Tunnel Proposal is a really great opportunity for everyone. An opportunity to save considerable time and money for the project promotors. An opportunity to prevent a great viaduct shaped insult to the AONB. An opportunity to mitigate the impact of HS2 on Wendover and an opportunity for HMG, HS2, and the DfT to pick out a winner, that solves so many of their problems, through being flexible and engaging with our Community.

Read the OTB Engineering report for yourself.If you would like to see the OTB report on the Wendover Mined Tunnel it is now available on the Parish Council Website atwww.wendover-pc.gov.uk/otb-engineering-report/. It has now been distributed to more than 25 MPs, Lords, DfT, HS2 Ltd and EK. We are exploring ways to have a copy admitted to the House Libraries.

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