Computer says no! Colne Valley Viaduct

So there have been some events in recent weeks showing some ideas around the design of HS2 in the Colne Valley, with a focus on the viaduct. Probably put on at some great expense.

At the event they had a lot of displays which you can see here.

There were forms for people to complete and return to HS2.

We took a box full from the Harefield event (with permission of course) as we hate to see things go to waste and are not sure the spare printed forms will end up in local libraries as requested. We shall see.

The paper “questionnaire” form doesn’t direct you to any online form/link which is a missed opportunity.

You can actually complete the form online (if you can find it) and we have been sharing the online link on social media. But how else are you supposed to find it. Believe us it isn’t that easy.

If you took the right booklet from the event you will find details on how to respond at the back. See our comments on this further down.

Without this a local resident had to call the HS2 Helpdesk to get the link (how many people would give up at this stage !?!)

It took 5 attempts before they could get through.  For the first 4 they got a recorded message saying the helpline was very busy and to try later.  This was on an afternoon over several hours. (How many people would give up at this stage !?!)

When they did get through a member of staff did search and find the weblink,   unfortunately the address is long and complicated ( TO/U0NSiw ) so it took a while to check over the phone that it was correct. (How many people would give up at this stage !?!) Shortened url’s are really easy to generate which would make it easier for all concerned.

The final and major problem is that when the local resident went to that site they got lots of security messages (see below), basically saying the site is not safe and must not be used.  We feel this is unacceptable and should have been identified by HS2/Align staff and sorted in advance (How many people would give up at this stage !?!)

The security messages included (over a couple of browsers)

  • Your connection is not secure
  • The owner of has configured their web site improperly. To protect your information from being stolen, Firefox has not connected to this web site.
  • The certificate belongs to a different site which could mean that someone is trying to impersonate the site.
  • Legitimate banks, stores and other public sites will not ask you to do this
  • Attackers might be trying to steal your information from

The survey deadline is next week.


And the HS2 Helpdesk as we often find, don’t really understand the issue and haven’t checked the link they are giving out.


It is very difficult to find the link via google. Even if you are looking for it exactly.

Perhaps HS2 should fix this and then extend the response deadline? Who knows how many people will have tried to reply online and failed.

We did know where it was on the hs2inhillingdon website, that hardly anyone knows about. We know about it as we spend lots of time telling HS2 to do better at publicising this website to residents. This is the place the booklet above sends you to.

On there the survey is tucked away under a header of Colne Valley Viaduct. It does not feature in the news section. It gives you the option to complete the form to give your views. It does not mention a deadline, or how this information will be used, or how the outcomes will be shared. Without the booklet to hand you would not know this information.

Not a great start for Align as they start to build relationships and trust in the area. Another own goal for the community engagement team.

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