Harvil Rd update from HS2

Statement from HS2Ltd about the Harvil Road site. 7th November 2017.
HS2’s Works on Harvil Road
HS2’s enabling works contractor, CSjv, are clearing trees and vegetation at the site east of Harvil Road ahead of essential gas pipeline diversion works required before the construction of HS2 can begin.

HS2 and our contractors have completed all necessary ecological surveys and inspections ahead of the clearance works east of Harvil Road. All works at the site are being undertaken in accordance with the HS2 Environmental Minimum Requirements and the Act of Parliament permitting construction and operations of HS2 Phase One. The gas pipeline works will be undertaken by Cadent Gas under its own permitted development rights and in compliance with HS2’s Environmental Minimum Requirements.

This includes the removal of existing vegetation and trees along the utility diversion corridor which is essential for this diversion to go ahead. The contractors need to comply with the HS2 Code of Construction Practice measures with regard to protection of existing tree where possible, as well as a requirement to consider where planting and other landscape measures may be implemented as early as is reasonably practicable where there is no conflict with construction activities or other requirements of Phase One of HS2.    

HS2 have in place mitigation plans for the area which include re-planting of native trees and shrubs that will compensate for the loss of vegetation removed to facilitate the Cadent Gas’ works. The design of the planting to compensate for these losses will be finalised by our main works contractor during their detailed design process. This will ensure the planting does not clash with the timing and location of future HS2 construction works in the area. The design will be informed by surveys of the trees carried out before they have to be cleared for the necessary utility diversion.

With respect to the subject of badgers and bats at the clearance site east of Harvil Road, we can confirm the following:


· The site has been surveyed for badgers and, while some signs of badger activity, including latrines (dung pits), were found on site, active badger setts have not been recorded on site to date and there are no active badger setts immediately adjacent to the site. 

· As badgers are a mobile species, updated surveys will be undertaken as works continue to ensure that all works are undertaken in accordance with the legal protection afforded to badgers.

· As part of our preparation for the start of works, we have surveyed the whole site, using a range of survey methods. No evidence of roosting bats has been found in the area that our contractors are clearing.

· All precautions are being taken to reduce any risk, including re-inspection by ecologists of trees with moderate or high potential to support roosting bats prior to felling. Should any bat roosts be identified then works in that location will cease and appropriate mitigation and licensing requirements followed.  

· We will also continue to update our surveys as works continue to ensure that all works are undertaken in accordance with the law.

In addition, we can confirm that there are no predicted impacts (direct or indirect) to Newyears Green Covert Ancient Woodland.

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Hopes raised that its not too late to BURY HS2

During the London mayoral campaign Hillingdon Against HS2 have met with the Liberal Democrat, UKIP and Conservative candidates. We have had contact with the Green Party candidate but not been able to arrange a formal meeting. The Labour candidate has not replied to us. We have also attended hustings and other related events. We invited all of the above to attend the HS2 event in Ickenham in March. The Labour, Conservative and UKIP GLA Assembly Member candidates all attended.

Following a meeting with local residents and Hillingdon Against HS2 with Zac Goldsmith and Conservative GLA candidate Dominic Gilham there has been exciting news in recent days about the Transport Secretary attending a meeting with Zac Goldsmith, our local MPs and Cllr Ray Puddifoot. See the press release below.

Press Release

Date: 27.04.16

Zac: New HS2 Working Group will get best deal for Hillingdon

 An HS2 working group has been set up for Hillingdon following a meeting between Conservative candidate for London Mayor Zac Goldsmith, the Transport Secretary and key local stakeholders.

 The meeting was set up by Zac who recently met with HS2 campaigners in Ruislip.  He was joined at the meeting by fellow campaigners Nick Hurd MP, the current Mayor of London Boris Johnson MP, and Leader of Hillingdon Borough Council Cllr Ray Puddifoot for the meeting at the Department for Transport.

 Zac said;

 “This was a productive discussion.  I am very pleased that the Transport Secretary listened to our concerns and we can make the case for a tunnel under Hillingdon.

 “I will continue to apply maximum pressure to ensure that HS2 is tunnelled under Hillingdon, protecting the environment and our community.  I want to minimise the potential disruption that HS2 could cause.

 “I am the only candidate who can work with the Government to protect London’s economy and investment in transport infrastructure.  Khan’s £1.9 billion budget black hole would jeopardise investment and put Hillingdon’s security at risk. My Action Plan for Greater London will deliver for Hillingdon residents.”

  Patrick McLoughlin said;

 “HS2 will have a transformative effect on the whole of the UK but it is essential that when we build it we get it right. Part of this process will mean looking again where necessary. Zac, Nick, Boris and Ray have made a strong case on behalf of Hillingdon and I have asked for a working group to be established between Hillingdon Borough Council, HS2 Ltd and the Department for Transport. I expect this group to work through the important issues raised in our meeting and report to back to me.”

 Boris Johnson MP said;

 “This is great news, this fresh work will now look again into the possibility of the Colne Valley tunnel. I believe we can show it makes good sense in terms of both cost and efficiency. If the tunnel can be delivered for the same cost, it’d be crazy not to do it.”

 Nick Hurd MP said;

 “We have argued for a long time that a tunnel extension is the best solution to all the problems that HS2 causes in the area. Up till now that option has not been taken seriously. I am pleased that we have managed to put it back on the agenda ” 

 Cllr Ray Puddifoot;

 “I am grateful to Zac for leading on this initiative and the Secretary of State for agreeing to look at the case for a tunnel.  It is without doubt the most cost effective solution and will cause the least amount of damage and disruption to our environment and our residents.”

 The working group will be made up of six people; three from Hillingdon Borough Council, two from HS2 Ltd and one from the Department for Transport.


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Boris visit to HS2 affected areas of Ruislip

Hillingdon Against HS2 have had several meetings with Boris before but this was a really useful day to help put all our HS2 concerns and issues into context.

boris groupWe introduced him to different residents and business owners and walked the route of the utility works that will cause so much disruption to Ruislip.

We started the afternoon with a meeting at my home with Boris, leader of Hillingdon Council,Ray Puddifoot, Cllr Susan O’Brien and residents representing Herlwyn Ave, Lawn Close, Almond Close and Roundways and West End Road.

We discussed the unfairness of the Select Committee process and the knock on effect of not being able to achieve the much needed mitigation of an extended tunnel through Hillingdon and the Colne Valley.

in houseThe additional provisions (changes to the plans) of the HS2 Bill are not satisfactory mitigation measures but purely an exercise in pushing the problems around in circles with new and different areas being affected including the A40. We went through various maps to help put the problems into perspective and we felt he very much understood the frustration we still face with HS2 Ltd’s illogical planning.

We then walked to Keri Brennan’s home on Roundways and used the view from her garden to help explain how HS2Ltd have misled residents about the depth of the tunnel through Ruislip and he was able to understand more clearly why many residents are still so worried about the effects of tunnelling and settlement to their homes. We talked about how despite being next to a tunnel blight still exists in terms of property values and ability to sell.

On New Pond Parade Boris heard concerns from various traders in the shops about how the utility works could affect their businesses and we asked that he helped us put a case to the DFT to try and secure some community funding for those affected by HS2 in Hillingdon who are unable to claim compensation from the effects of construction.boris lottieWe showed him the problems that the utility works could cause to the park and green space locally known as Banana Park and highlighted the flooding that often occurs under the bridges on West End Road and Bridgewater Road which have still not been taken into account fully by HS2Ltd.

The day gave us the opportunity to spend more time with Boris as our MP and to hit home the message that although we face so many local issues with HS2 when you put them into perspective with all the concerns along the HS2 route and more nationwide priorities, HS2 is just wrong on every level – and ultimately he couldn’t disagree with us.

HAHS2 will continue to work closely with Boris over the next few months and will be looking to him to help us make progress in getting our message to David Higgins at HS2 Ltd. and of course to Government.boris lottie keriLottie Jones

8th January 2016

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Potential changes in Ickenham & Harefield to HS2 route

ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS AFFECTING HILLINGDON (October 2015) – potential changes to the route design, particularly in Ickenham and Harefield have been released for consultation. Please do take a look and make your thoughts / objections known via petitioning by the 23rd of October and also via your MP.

Details on petitioning are available here and do remember that many in the area have already petitioned and would be happy to help.

View the additional provisions here.

You can also read HS2’s response to the Select Committee on the area here.

Changes include the consideration of a haul road through Ickenham.

haul road cropped


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Big blunder, big change, big apology, then… …nothing!

In short what has happened is

For 3 years HS2 have stated the Ruislip tunnel is 30m deep. On almost the last day Ruislipians of any kind were at the select committee and after nearly all of them had been heard, we realised that the tunnel depth had changed. Read more here

The next morning their QC made a statement on the issue – here is an extract:

“I’ve asked that that work be given the highest priority and the greatest
urgency, and we will report both to those petitioners and to any other petitioners who
have yet to be heard who are in a similar position, and also report back to the
Committee. We will also check that the settlement assessment which you’ll recall was
shown on the contour plans is correct. We believe it to be correct. We will also check
the ground-borne noise and vibration assessments. We believe those to be correct, but
we will double check that. We will offer to meet with the affected petitioners as soon as
possible and within the next fortnight in order to ensure that we have gone through any
concerns that they may have arising out of this unfortunate mistake”

Well apparently the highest priority and greatest urgency means –

  • sending people a letter about the one map that highlighted the problem, telling them whether their map was right or wrong, including a corrected map where it was wrong
  • confirming settlement and noise and vibration assessments are correct in said letter (but with no documentation or supporting evidence to reassure)
  • not fully replying on any other matters yet such as the ES
  • certainly no explanation of the change in tunnel depth
  • including a throwaway comment in the letter saying they would be happy to meet with you – but no actual attempt to arrange / move forward
  • no contact with the wider community, no use of social media to publicise the change
  • acting as if it is all about one map when it is about everything else – the map was just the clue that HS2 had massively changed the goalposts without telling anyone else

So another weekend of waiting and wondering…

Thanks HS2 and really not very reassuring that all the issues petitioners have been told them to trust them on will be dealt with in a timely or considerate manner.

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HS2 tunnel height confusion – 3 years of false hope & reassurance

Since 2012 residents have been told and believed the HS2 tunnel in Ruislip (known as the Northolt tunnel) would be 30m deep.

In the Environmental Statement in 2013 it was stated –

HS2 Northolt tunnel
2.2.7 The Proposed Scheme will cross the western boundary of CFA5 in twin-bore tunnels.
Key permanent features of this section will include the following (see Maps CT-06-015
to CT-06-018): two tunnels, of 8.8m internal diameter, of which 4.4km is in this area and with an average depth below ground level of 30m;

In maps given to some individual petitioners before their select committe appearances in June 2015 the depth of the tunnel was stated as 29.5m. For others just a road further along it was much shallower.

Then in late June 2015 it was discovered that the 30m depth was incorrect and HS2 confirmed the following by email:

Further to our email exchange earlier today, I am sorry to have to say that the additional checks we said we would carry out have uncovered an error in the depth measurement presented in your exhibit (P6897).

As you may know, during the hearings today, the Chairman of the Select Committee raised with leading counsel for the Promoter, the question of whether the cross-sections which have been shown to the Committee in relation to petitioners, including yourself, who have raised settlement issues, are accurate.

I understand that the Chairman raised this issue in the light of Luke Shirley’s evidence. The Promoter is therefore looking again at all of the cross-sections which we produced and presented to the Committee.

We have found that on your cross-section (P6897), we have erroneously shown the ground level as being above 50m AOD (Above Ordnance Datum) in this location. The correct ground level is in fact around 15m lower. Accordingly, the distance between the top of the tunnel and the ground level, shown on the cross-section as 29.2m, was incorrect. The correct distance is in fact 14.9m.

In light of this error, we are carefully checking the other information shown on the cross-section and we expect to complete this during the course of tomorrow. We will send you a corrected copy of the cross-section as soon as those checks are completed.

I should make clear that this error is confined to the drawing which was produced for the purposes of the hearing of your petition. It does not affect the assessments of ground borne noise/vibration in the Environmental Statement, or the assessment of tunnelling induced settlement as shown on the settlement contour diagram (P6896). These assessments were carried out prior to, and independently of, the creation of the cross-section referred to above.

I apologise that we were not able to respond by 5pm as you requested. As I am sure you will appreciate, we wanted to be absolutely certain that we were now providing you with the correct information.

I am copying this email directly to Nick Hurd MP and will try to speak to him ahead of tomorrow’s hearing to ensure he is aware of the situation.

We will also explain the position to the Committee.

Once again, I can only apologise for this error and the confusion it has caused.”

They made this statement to the select committee on the morning of the 1st of July, view here from minute 9.31.21 onwards. It was officially an apology but only really for one map/document not all the other years of confusion and numerous other documents that led us to believe the tunnel was deeper than it was and therefore that our homes were safer than they are.

We have requested a full list of all the mistakes made and a full apology to us and to the committee. We have also asked that they inform all other affected residents whether they petitioned or not.

We await the promised meetings and information and will post any information here.

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A lesson from Crossrail – what construction really looks like

Cross Rail visit – members of Hillingdon Against HS2, requested a visit to an actual construction and tunnelling site in 2012 and 2013. After chasing and chasing and chasing Hs2 Ltd. in May 2014 the visit finally took place. It was very upsetting to see the scale of the construction, and the proximity to homes, some of which is similar to what will take place in Hillingdon. See the Stop HS2 article about it here.

Here are some pictures of how construction looks in reality, rather than the couple of pretty bollards and a few traffic lights some residents have been shown in meetings.

pic 1pic 2pic 3pic 4

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Hybrid Bill still needs HS2 Heathrow Spurs removing by committee

This was our update on this topic in March 2015 –

HEATHROW SPUR WILL NOT BE BUILT IN PHASE 1 OR PHASE 2 – after being put on hold in 2013 it is now official (as it gets with HS2) that the Heathrow Spurs will not be built in phase 2 either. So now all efforts to extend the tunnel, save HOAC and protect quality of life for all that live, work and travel through Hillingdon.

We urge all to push for the related works to be dropped from the hybrid bill so please get in touch with your MP about this ASAP.

Please read more details here and remember as things stand the hybrid bill includes building passive provision for the spurs (that may never be built) and that means more landtake and more construction across a wider area – until that wording is removed!

Heathrow spur 09032015

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Election Candidate’s position on HS2

In case you hadn’t heard there’s going to be an election on 7th May!

Local candidates from all parties are out and about all looking to secure your vote, please let them know how important an issue HS2 is. It would be great if you could get in touch with all your Parliamentary candidates to express your view of HS2. On Twitter, please use the hashtags, #GE2015, #HS2 and any local hashtags.

Because HS2 is so important to some voters, STOPHS2 have launched the “We won’t vote for any party that supports HS2” campaign. You can download the posters from their website – and display them in your window.

We’ve been reading the manifestos of the main UK political parties to let you know what they have to say on HS2 – full details are on the Stop HS2 website stophs2.org.
Conservatives, Labour, LibDem and the SNP all express support for HS2 in their manifestos.

Political parties that oppose HS2 include the Green Party and UKIP.

HAHS2 have attended 2 recent hustings for the Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency to hear what each of the hopeful local MPs had to say about HS2. So here’s a brief overview of each party. You can see a full list of candidates HERE with links to contact them.

Says he’s the strongest candidate to help mitigate HS2 in London more. Won’t support it without a better plan for Euston,link to HS1 or an extended Northolt tunnel through Ickenham.
Says he would defy party policy and vote against HS2 and would fight for better mitigation.He wants HS2 scrapped and money spent on better NHS and Hillingdon Hospital.
Says route is wrong and that it should follow the M1. He is personally in strong favour of HS2 as well as following party line in support.
Says he wants to see HS2 scrapped altogether as per party policy. UKIP would call for a referendum to allow the public to vote on HS2.
Says mitigation is not enough, wants HS2 scrapped as per party policy. Thinks trains and platforms should be lengthened with improvements to WCML.
Says mitigation and tunnels are not enough or acceptable and HS2 must be scrapped.

We have less information from the Ruislip, Pinner and Northwood constituency which also covers Ickenham and Harefield but there is an upcoming hustings, information HERE and a full list of candidates HERE with links to contact them.

Says he can’t support current HS2 proposals because of the cost to the constituency. Compensation is still not fair enough. Will vote against it at next stage unless we get the mitigation we are petitioning for.
Says he will vote against the current route.
Says he supports HS2 but we need to go further in ensuring protection for residents like extra tunnelling and better compensation.
Says HS2 has to be scrapped as it has no business case.
Says she opposes the HS2 project as wasteful and unnecessary and recognise the negative impact it would have in the south of the borough.

In two weeks time, we will need to let a new set of MPs know about the problems with HS2. We have some plans for immediately after the election, although exactly what we do will depend on the results. The Stop HS2 website and the@stophs2 twitter account will be updated with plans when they are ready.

HAHS2 will be supporting any event organised and we hope you will join us.
Keep in touch via our website and facebook page for details nearer the time.

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Our view on Uxbridge and South Ruislip #GE2015 Hustings

10/04/15 Uxbridge parliamentary candidate hustings overview.

None of the candidates spoke about HS2 with any real local knowledge or detail of local issues.

Boris Johnson.(Cons) Thinks he’s the strongest candidate to mitigate HS2 in London more. Won’t support without a better plan for Euston, link to HS1 or an extended Northolt tunnel through Ickenham.

Mike Cox. (Lib Dem)Thinks route is wrong (though since he thought it went through Cotswolds a bit worrying!) Says route should follow M1 but is personally in strong favour of HS2 as well as following party line.

Graham Lee (Green) Thinks mitigation not enough, wants HS2 scrapped as per party policy. Thinks trains and platforms should be lengthened with improvements to WCML.

Jack Duffin (UKIP) Wants HS2 scrapped as per party policy. Would call for a referendum.

Chris Summers. (Labour) Would defy party policy and vote against. Would fight for better mitigation but wants HS2 scrapped and money spent on better NHS and Hillingdon Hospital.

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