Councils across Buckinghamshire are piling pressure on the Government to stop all current HS2 preparation work until full cost of the scheme made clear and the detailed design has been properly approved.
As part of the collective action, Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern District Council have already debated and agreed a special motion at their full council meetings, held on Wednesday 17th April 2019, calling on the Government to pause all current site work until the ‘Notice to Proceed’ has been approved. While South Bucks District Council has also agreed to write to HS2 to express the same concerns.
On Thursday 25th April 2019 Buckinghamshire County Council will also debated the same motion at their full council meeting.
According to the Councils, the early HS2 works are already causing devastation across Buckinghamshire from Calvert in the north, through Great Missenden and down into the Colne Valley. There are also major utilities works, roadworks, ground investigation, vegetation removal and netting of hedgerows all happening now. This is all in spite of it being widely reported that the official Notice to Proceed for the project has been pushed back towards the end of 2019.
In a joint statement, Council Leaders said there was absolutely no justification why the County’s residents should suffer significant disruption and long term environmental destruction while things remain so unclear. They also say it;s massively disruptive to have HS2 contractors trampling all over the County doing preparatory work without the final scheme details even being known. Some of the current work is also extremely controversial and is creating significant issues locally. As a result, the Councils also want HS2 Ltd to significantly improve the effectiveness of its community engagement with all those impacted by the line.
The Leaders of the Councils involved add that if the Crossrail scheme is anything to go by, then it is clear that HS2 is definitely far from on time and on budget. As a result the councils will be asking for a proper review to be undertaken before any further taxpayer funding is committed.