Buckinghamshire’s Mitigation Blueprint – put together by anti-HS2 campaigners and endorsed by the county’s five main local authorities – was publicly launched at the Oculus building in Aylesbury on Tuesday.
Campaigners are still hopeful the building of the controversial railway line – set to cut through the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – can be stopped, but the blueprint is their backup plan, giving details of what precisely needs to be done to stop the county’s residents being affected by the worst of the blight construction would cause.
Rosie Brake, Bucks County Council’s HS2 Engagement Manager, said of the blueprint: “It’s a whole community trying to present one cohesive voice for our community – our stake in the ground for the community.”
Referring to HS2, she added: “It should provide a fitting legacy once it’s in place. All it represents is all pain and no gain – it’s a bitter pill for Bucks to swallow.”
A copy was presented to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin in the House of Commons by Chesham and Amersham MP Cheryl Gillan last week. Mrs Gillan asked Mr McLoughlin and Railways Minster Simon Burns if they would “undertake to consider carefully” the document, to which Mr McLoughlin replied: “I will study the document she has given to me and ask for it to be studied by officials in my Department. We will do all we can to minimise damage in her area.”
Another copy of the blueprint is on its way to David Cameron, Mrs Brake said, and county council leader Martin Tett said Aylesbury MP David Lidington would present a copy to Chancellor George Osborne this week.