Category Archives: HS2

Councils Launch HS2 Challenge

Press release from Bucks County Council

Members of 51m, the alliance of local authorities opposed to HS2, have served a formal letter on the Secretary of State for Transport asking her to rescind her decision to proceed with HS2 and giving notice that they may otherwise challenge the decision by way of judicial review. The Transport Secretary announced her support for the HS2 project on January 10.

Councillor Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire County Council, speaking on behalf of 51m said: “We are taking this stance with regret. We would far rather that the Government had listened to the people of this country who have decisively rejected this massively expensive project and instead opted for the far better, cheaper and more quickly delivered alternative put forward by 51m. Communities in the Midlands and the north of England risk being bypassed and left to decline by HS2. We should be investing in our existing rail and road infrastructure across the entire country to bring jobs and growth now when it is needed.”

Councillor Ray Puddifoot, Vice-Chairman of 51m and Leader of the London Borough of Hillingdon added: “The consultation process was unfair and inadequate in many respects. Ordinary people whose lives and livelihoods will be severely affected between Birmingham and Manchester and Leeds were not even given an adequate chance to have their say. The whole project represents extremely poor value for money for the hard pressed UK taxpayer and it is right that we challenge the Government’s decision to progress with this misguided scheme.”

51m are not against the principle of High Speed Rail in the UK but do not believe that the case put forward by the Department for Transport/HS2 Ltd is justified as it provides very poor value for money. 51m have proposed a much better alternative, the core of which is doubling the capacity of the current West Coast Mainline costing less than 10% of HS2. This would cater for the future demand predicted by Department for Transport, provide the capacity much sooner so that current crowding problems are addressed, and cause significantly less disruption to the existing network than HS2.

New Anti-HS2 Campaign Director

Press release from AGAHST says: The AGAHST Federation (Actions Groups Against High Speed Rail Two) has appointed Deanne DuKhan as Campaign Director with immediate effect. The role is full time and will strengthen the campaign and build on growing public and media opposition to HS2. Previously head of the AGAHST Parliamentary Liaison Group, Deanne was appointed by and reports to a new Campaign Board which brings together AGAHST, HS2 Action Alliance, Stop HS2 and Transport Sense. To allow for the growing number of action groups, AGAHST is now organised in regional groups, currently South and Central, with NW and NE forums to be added as the route to Manchester and Leeds is announced.

Jerry Marshall, Chair of the Campaign Board says “Deanne is the right person for the next stage of the campaign, as we take new legal and political action. Momentum against HS2 is building and the new business case is even worse than before, with a net benefit ratio under 50p for every £1 invested when up-to-date information and assumptions are used. It is only a matter of time before Government comes to its senses and begins to invest in our real rail needs, create jobs and growth, and abandons this vanity project.”

For more information please contact Jerry Marshall, Chairman, AGAHST (Action Groups Against High Speed Two) on chair@betterthanhs2.org or 07941 017236 (mobile).

HS2 Go Ahead Announced

As widely reported Justine Greening the Secretary of State for Transport has announced the go ahead for the HS2 project with the addition of some new tunnelling. Those that affect our area are a longer, continuous tunnel from Little Missenden to the M25 through the Chilterns and a longer green tunnel to significantly reduce impacts around Wendover and an extension to the green tunnel at South Heath.  In addition there will be a new 2.75 mile bored tunnel along the Northolt Corridor to entirely avoid major works to the Chilterns Line and impacts on local communities in the Ruislip area.  There will also be a longer green tunnel past Chipping Warden and Aston Le Walls, and a curve added to the route to avoid a cluster of important heritage sites around Edgcote.  For full map detail follow this link.  Incidentally, a green tunnel is built differently to a bored tunnel.  The soil is excavated on the surface, a tube is placed in the excavation and is then covered over with soil, plants and grass.  It is the same principle as was used at the infamous Tesco tunnel in Gerrards Cross.  Her full written statement is as follows:

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HS2 ‘to be approved’


There are widespread reports in the media today that the Government is set to announce the approval of HS2 next week. The BBC report that Ministers say the proposal is “being seriously considered”. Network Rail have published this report which says that HS2 is better than the alternatives. The Telegraph says that the proposal will be approved by Transport Secretary Justine Greening. The announcement is expected on Tuesday. The BBC also has this map of the route on which you can click to see more detail of each area affected.

HS2 – The final countdown

The war of words is hotting up in the build up to the final decision on HS2 which the Government says will be announced on or before Friday 13th January.  Today more than 100 business leaders, MPs and economists have mounted a campaign in favour of HS2 in letters to the Financial Times, the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian, they say HS2 would create jobs and ease transport overcrowding.  Continue reading

HS2 – Jerry Marshall of AGAHST on BBC TV

Jerry Marshall, chairman of Action Groups Against High Speed Two, filmed a show for BBC’s “Inside Out” on Monday.

The eight minute film compiled by Mr Marshall was accompanied by a film making the case for the proposed London-to-Birmingham line.

Mr Marshall said: “It was great fun, partly because we have such a strong story.

The programme can be viewed on BBC iPlayer at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b018032h/Inside_Out_West_Midlands_05_12_2011/