Sometimes the months tick by and there isn’t much HS2 news to share with you. Then suddenly everything seems to happen all at once and things change on a daily basis.
You may already be aware that on a national level HS2 is coming under much more scrutiny and now, more than ever, there is an appetite in Government to see the project cancelled. This will of course depend on who will take over from Theresa May and on which side of the HS2 argument they sit – and how much they cave to pressure from those who still lobby for the project. These are interesting political times and we will be watching very carefully to see how things develop.
Spending on HS2 is under review by the Treasury and as such ‘Notice to Proceed’ has been suspended again until at least December. This means that whilst HS2 enabling works can continue, there will be no actual construction yet. So, it is not too late to Stop HS2!
You can read more about that here.
For sometime many of have you have asked what you can do that will make a difference?
Write to your MP!!
There is a chance that one of our local MPs, Boris Johnson, could end up being Prime Minister.
Whatever you think of his politics, or his chances, we now have a good opportunity to put pressure on him. Whether he makes PM or not, he will have some influence.
Please send him a quick email and tell him HS2 should be cancelled and why.
If Nick Hurd is your MP it’s also really important to let him know that you expect him to back a candidate for the Conservative leadership who commits to cancelling HS2.
If wording isn’t your thing, then please visit our website where you can find template letters to help you here.
Whilst we are ever hopeful that we will see the end of HS2 soon, we cannot rely on our politicians to do the right thing, so we will continue with our campaign and also continue to engage with HS2Ltd to try and gain the best mitigation for Hillingdon.
Most of the work that is happening at the moment is concentrated in Harefield, Ickenham and at West Ruislip. There is an alarming scale of work but it is still only preparatory work in the form of utility movement,vegetation clearance, haul road construction etc. So far we have experienced some severe traffic inconvenience from previous closures on Breakspear Road South.
HS2Ltd promised they would not need to close this road for extended periods. However we are now faced with the 4th closure of the road this year and this time for an 8 week stretch.
We have impressed on HS2ltd that if these closures are necessary, then avoiding school term time is paramount. Despite this, HS2Ltd announced that the closure would be scheduled for May/June impacting peak exam period and not incorporating any school holidays.
We strenuously opposed this and last week wrote an open letter to the SoS of Transport, the CEO of HS2Ltd and other senior figures with a serious complaint about HS2Ltd and the Community Engagement process. Hillingdon Council also expressed their concerns in a formal letter. You can read both letters here.
**UPDATE ** SUCCESS!
In response we have been informed that HS2Ltd have changed their plans and the BRS closure will now be later in July. Road signs have yet to be taken down and HS2Ltd will be updating their website and resident information this week. You can also read HS2Ltd’s response here.
Whilst we are pleased with the outcome, we should not have had to fight so hard to achieve it. We will be following up on all the other aspects of our complaint from this week.
Buckinghamshire Councils and others along the route have made a formal request to Government to suspend all HS2 work until the Notice to Proceed is decided,after the Autumn Spending Review.
Hillingdon Council have added their support to this by formally requesting for the review of the HS2 business case to be brought forward. You can read The Leader’s letter here.
There is a current petition to ask that all preparatory work be stopped before Notice to Proceed has been granted. Given the immense impact it’s already having in HIllingdon, please add your support here.
HS2Ltd are planning another round of public events – primarily to update residents about the progression of the design for the The Colne Valley Viaduct.
These events are a good opportunity to get involved and give HS2Ltd feedback. Please go along if you can.
Ickenham – Friday 31st May 4pm – 8pm Ickenham Village Hall
Harefield – Saturday 1st June 11am – 3pm Harefield Academy
Ruislip – Thursday 6th June 4pm – 8pm Ruislip Golf Club
If you are unable to attend these events, please look out for the regular ‘drop in’ sessions that HS2Ltd run. Check their events page here.
We have major concerns over the danger to our water supplies during the construction of 80 piers for the Colne Valley viaduct (which crosses over the HOAC lake). The piers be driven through the aquifers which provide our clean water. Affinity water has applied to the government for an indemnity to cover their revenue loss should they be unable to supply us with this water with an estimated cost of £77million. The HS2 minister said” HS2 construction in the Colne Valley has the potential to cause damage to the chalk aquifer from which Affinity Water sources its water supply. An appropriate mitigation strategy will be developed during detailed design of the construction works, using information from ground investigation surveys. With the mitigation strategy in place, it is considered that the risks to the aquifer will be low. However, the risk of potential damage will exist despite the mitigation measures which will be applied.”
We encourage you to ask questions about this at the local events listed above.
Local protesters supported by Extinction Rebellion have been highlighting this issue in recent court cases so the Secretary of State has sought an injunction to prevent them from protesting on the affected sites around Harvil Road. However the protestors are not giving up and just a couple of weeks ago, a peaceful tree climb that didn’t break the injunction, prevented HS2Ltd from a mass felling of trees on Harvil Road.
HS2LTD LOCAL WEBSITE
HS2Ltd have set up a website for all Hillingdon HS2 news. There are explanations and descriptions of current and expected work and there is likely to be much more added over the coming months. ( Please bare in mind these are HS2Ltd’s version of events) There is an option to receive news updates so you don’t have to keep logging into the site – and there is also a page for you to be able to give HS2Ltd feedback… don’t be shy!!
Please do use the site and sign up for the updates here.
COMMUNITY AND BUSINESS FUNDS
There will be many hundreds or us that will be affected by HS2 locally, who don’t qualify for any compensation for the disruption that the next 7-10 years of construction will cause.
Whilst we fought hard for as much mitigation as possible ( and we are continuing to put pressure on HS2Ltd to do more) many parts of our communities will still suffer disruption or financial losses.
To help offset this, HS2Ltd have set aside £70 Million, in 2 different national funds which have already started to be allocated – So far only 1 has been awarded in Hillingdon!!
This is a rare opportunity to find some benefit from HS2 and it shouldn’t be passed up!
Community groups, schools,charities, sports clubs,local businesses,resident associations, etc. can all put in bids for a share of these funds.
If you have a connection to any group or business who you think might be eligible, PLEASE encourage them to apply and share this information on. There is more information and detail to help you here.
If you have pre – registered an interest in Settlement Deeds for your property, you should by now have received a written letter of acknowledgement from HS2Ltd.
If you have pre- registered but have not heard from them please can you let us know?
Drop us an email at email@example.com
We are continuing to fight for more fair treatment for property owners who are sub-surface safeguarded and pushing HS2Ltd to communicate with all those who are eligible for Settlement Deeds.
If you are still not sure whether this affects you or you still haven’t registered your interest in settlement deeds please see our website for more information here.
KEEP IN TOUCH
Please do keep in touch regularly, we post daily updates,articles and photos on our Facebook Page
More news and photos on our website
Or follow us on Twitter
@HillingdonAHS2 @Mrs_angryjones @HarefieldHS2
Please remember to tweet using #HS2
If you have any concerns or complaints about any aspect of HS2 work, there are some important contacts listed below. We would like to encourage you to contact HS2Ltd – and particularly if you have a complaint because it’s important that they get officially logged. Please remember to copy in your MP
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com it will usually prompt a quicker response!
Hs2enquiries@hs2.org.uk or their 24hour help desk 08081 434 434 (this is now a free number)
HS2 Resident’s Commissioner
HS2 Construction Commissioner
Once again we’d like to thank you for your on going interest and support.
Hillingdon Against HS2 / Hillingdon HS2 Resident Support Group.