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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Ruislip on Sea – seriously!

We have requested a meeting with the engineers and geologists involved with the recent “extraordinary”, “fascinating” and “unusual” findings regarding the Prehistoric Coastline – the Ruislip Bed right underneath our streets. Something that has been discovered following recent Ground Investigation (GI) works in the area.

We have previously requested that the outcome of the Ruislip ground investigations were shared with us. We were told it wasn’t likely we would be able to have that information as the GI’s weren’t being carried out specifically on our personal properties – and, that since we aren’t engineers,  we probably wouldn’t be able to understand the results.

Despite this, it appears some of those findings have now been made available to the general public and the media – without any prior indication to community representatives in Ruislip that this information was going to be released. Frustratingly we have met with HS2 numerous times in the weeks before the press release!

We have a long history of issues relating to tunnelling and settlement which has caused significant mistrust. We felt ‘misled’ about tunnel depths in Ruislip, with discrepancies which only came to light after we had petitioned the House of Commons Select Committee. We have never had a truly reassuring update on how settlement has been measured and whether special circumstances in our area have been taken into account.

There has certainly not been any recently updated information. The Guide to Settlement is dated 2015 and has not been updated despite repeated requests.

The new archaeological revelations obviously give rise to more concerns about exact tunnel depths and settlement predictions for the properties that are unlucky enough to be live close to or above the tunnel.

At the House of Commons petitioning phase, Lottie Jones specifically asked whether settlement predictions had been made on the assumption that Ruislip sits on Lambeth Group and /or London clay, as per Professor Mair’s presentation to parliament. At the time, her question was deemed to be irrelevant and she was dismissed for questioning such detail.

She was reminded that Cross Rail and the Jubilee Line Extension were the standard by which the future of HS2 should be based. It’s now clear that these comparisons cannot be claimed to be relevant examples as we are dealing with a newly classified type of underground clay that will be affected by HS2 tunnelling.

Part of the ancient coastline uncovered by workers

We would suggest that this detail is particularly significant now and that the subject needs to be revisited for clarity – for many Ruislip residents.

We are particularly concerned that settlement predictions for Ruislip have been based on detail that we cannot rely on.

This yet again raises the issue of the provision – or lack of – ‘before and after surveys’ being available to all home homeowners above or close to tunnels in Ruislip. At present, only those properties deemed to fall into the category of being predicted to be affected by 10mm or more of settlement, are eligible. These predictions now need to be reviewed – as does the criteria for eligibility for settlement deeds and surveys.

This situation also highlights our ongoing concern that all homeowners above and close to tunnels should be directly contacted by HS2 Ltd. to explain the implications of tunnelling on their properties, along with clear information about settlement deeds and surveys.

 HS2 response (March 2018) – “As you know, ground investigation surveys are part of developing the route design of the railway. These survey (sic) will help us to understand more about the ground where the railway will be built as it is vital to know about the soil before construction begins. The “Ruislip Bed” discovery is part of this ongoing work.”

They have also agreed to schedule a meeting on this matter. We’ll keep you posted.

Meanwhile if you are really interested in clay you can watch HS2’s YouTube video about it all here. Personally we would rather they spent their resources on the people most affected by such discoveries and told them first.

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March 2018 Residents Update


Dear Supporters,

As we head towards spring we’re entering into the next phase of our HS2 Journey.
It’s now been 7 (long) years since we started our campaign. Over those years we have been committed to  ensuring we keep you updated with everything we can about what’s happening with HS2 and we hope you still find these newsletters helpful.

This month we are conducting a survey to try and gauge the current general feeling of Hillingdon residents about HS2, and how we can best help to keep you informed and support you.
We would be really grateful if you’d take a couple of minutes to fill out our survey which you can find HERE
Please do also share it with friends and family.

We continue to fight for the best possible local mitigation and we haven’t given up hope that the government may still come to their senses and scrap the whole sorry mess that is HS2.

In the meantime, there are 3 main working groups that represent Harefield, Ruislip and Ickenham that come under our umbrella and we work very closely together in regular meetings with HS2Ltd and more recently with their contractors.
We continue to be supported by Hillingdon Council and liaise with them regularly to try and hold HS2Ltd to account and ensure we do as much as we can to protect our local communities.

In recent weeks we have had separate meetings with the HS2 Construction Commissioner, the Director of HS2Ltd’s Community Engagement, Theresa May’s Environment Advisor at Downing Street and also Boris Johnson MP, in order to keep them aware of the local ongoing issues we have.
We continue to put pressure on everyone and anyone we can, on your behalf, but we still need your help to keep HS2 at the top of their agenda.
Boris Johnson and Nick Hurd tell us they are always keen to hear more of local people’s views on HS2 so please check their contact info at the bottom of this newsletter and get in touch with them.
In case you were not aware, you can also make appointments to meet either of them at their constituency surgeries held once a month.

I’m sure you will have signed many petitions that we have shared over the years but this is probably the most important and current one (started just after our last newsletter so you may have missed this one) Please do sign HERE as the deadline is imminent.
You will see there’s a map of constituencies which shows where the most signatures come from – and we really need the Hillingdon area to be better represented! Please share the link with friends and family around the country.

You may be aware of the recent collapse of Carillion – one of the country’s biggest construction companies -which went into liquidation last month. Many thought that this would surely have an impact on the future of HS2, since the government awarded Carrillion HS2 contracts last year ( despite knowing they were already in trouble) There’s no doubt there will be implications to the already spiralling costs of the project but the reality is that Carrillion had already subcontracted the HS2 commitments.

We have fought for many years to avoid the necessity of an HS2 viaduct across the Colne Valley but sadly the tunnel option through this part of Hillingdon was never approved by government.
During the petitioning process at both House of Lords and House of Commons, petitioners in Harefield were reassured that when it came to the design phase, local community and residents would be able to have input and that there would be involvement with the designers and contractors.
Despite many requests this has not yet happened.
We were aware that a design had been in existence since last summer. We believe that HS2Ltd  deliberately withheld the documents from us and we have been requesting the publication of the design for the last 8 months. After official complaints and intervention from Boris Johnson, the draft design was finally made public with a press release.
HS2Ltd implied, on social media, that the local community had been involved in the design process.This is blatantly untrue and after further complaints, the statement was retracted and we had a rare apology from HS2Ltd.
The link to the documents and design can be found HERE
HS2Ltd are insisting that this design is just a draft and only a concept and what has been produced may not be relevant to what eventually is built.
We have pressed hard for there to be an opportunity for local people to give their views on what they think is most important in the design of the viaduct, as it will be a significant feature of HS2 across the Hillingdon landscape.
As such, HS2Ltd and the contractors responsible for the viaduct, Align, will be holding some public events this month. Many residents will have had a leaflet inviting them to attend.
More information, along with dates and venues can be found HERE
Please do go along to and make sure your opinion counts – there will be a feedback survey to fill out at the events which will also be made available on-line and in paper form.
Please check our Website or Facebook  as we will be sharing the feedback forms once they are available.

HS2Ltd have set up a new website for all Hillingdon HS2 news. It’s still in the early stages and we are pushing for more detailed information to be included. There are explanations and descriptions of current and expected work and there is likely to be much more added over the coming months. 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

You may be aware that HS2Ltd have already started some ‘Ground Investigation’ work and some ‘Enabling’ works in and around Harefield, Ickenham and Ruislip.
At locations where there have been bore holes and ground drilling, we expect there to be regular (monthly) activities as HS2Ltd continue to monitor their sites.
Between Ickenham and Harefield there have been more significant amounts of work, specifically on Harvil Road where a large construction site has been created to facilitate the movement of a gas main line.
You can read more about the extent of the work HERE
This work has caused a lot of local concern. The ‘site clearance’ has involved a large swathe of trees being removed with a major impact on the local environment.
You can see the extent of the work from drone footage HERE

In response to this, a group of protesters have set up camp opposite the main site in an effort to hold up the work and protect the environment.Their direct action has attracted some attention and a few news headlines.Unfortunately HS2Ltd have the permission to carry out this work as the hybrid bill grants them powers.
In what seemed a heavy handed response HS2Ltd and the DfT took the protestors to court to gain an injunction against them to prevent them from protesting on the work sites in the future.
You can read about the injunction HERE and the legal wording HERE

Work will be extending on this site and also on Breakspear Road South in the coming weeks. This sadly is the tip of the iceberg as enabling works are only a fraction of the construction plans of the future.
Information about Breakspear Road South can be found HERE please be aware that there will be traffic management in place which may delay road users.

There will be many hundreds of us that will be affected by HS2 locally, who don’t qualify for any compensation for the disruption that 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 NONE have 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 live or have property within 30 metres of the the planned HS2 tunnel then your property will have been ‘sub surface safeguarded’ and you may be concerned about possible damage to your property during construction of the tunnels, or the running of the railway line. Settlement deeds will be available for residents to apply for once the final alignment of the tunnel is confirmed. Some properties will qualify for ‘before and after surveys’ to help ascertain if HS2 causes any settlement or damage.
If you have not already, you should make sure you pre-register your interest in a ‘Settlement Deed’ .
The eligibility criteria for benefitting from a settlement deed is complicated but this document may help HERE

At this stage we would urge you to make sure you register your property. If you have already done this but have received no reply, please re-send an email as there was an initial problem with address when it was first set up, which HS2Ltd have acknowledged and rectified.

Send an email to

Write to “HS2 Phase One Settlement Deed pre registration”
HS2 Ltd, One Canada Square,London, E145AB
Simply include your full name and the address you wish to register, with your full contact details for future communication.
For more information see our website page HERE 

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 
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. If you do have a need to contact HS2Ltd – and particularly if you have a complaint – please remember to copy in your MP ( and us!)  / 

HS2Ltd  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.

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Statement on HS2 Colne Valley Viaduct

HS2 Ltd. have released their ‘specimen design‘ of the Colne Valley Viaduct. img_9119

We have fought for many years to avoid the necessity of a HS2 viaduct across the Colne Valley but sadly the tunnel option through this part of Hillingdon was never approved by government.
During the petitioning process at both the House of Lords and the House of Commons, petitioners in Harefield were reassured that when it came to the design phase, the local community and residents would be able to have input and that there would be involvement with the designers and contractors.
Despite many requests this has never happened.
We have been aware that the design has been in existence since last summer. We also believe that HS2 Ltd. have been deliberately withholding the documents and we have been requesting the publication of the design for the last 6 months. After official complaints and intervention from a local MP we now have the draft design.
On the day of the release HS2 Ltd. implied on social media that the local community have had involvement in the design process. This is untrue and after complaints, the  statement was retracted and we had an apology from HS2 Ltd.
There was also a delay in uploading the full documents which can now be found here
HS2 Ltd. are insisting that the design is just a draft and that there will be an opportunity for local people to give their feedback.
We will be meeting with HS2 Ltd. in the coming weeks to discuss this further. We will be pressing for public events so that there will be an opportunity for you to get involved. We will keep you updated with our progress and dates and locations of any planned events which we expect to be later in the Spring.
25th Jan 2018.
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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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