‘A farcical waste of an evening’ at HS2 forum
ANGER and disapointment were the emotions felt by many of the people who attended this week’s HS2 community forum.
The meeting, which was attended by many STOP HS2 action groups and people who will be affected negatively if the high speed railway line is built, was told that HS2 Ltd would not provide meetings with the engineers for Stoneleigh, Kenilworth and Burton Green action groups.
Outrage followed when HS2 Ltd representatives also said the Government would make a final decision on the route in November and the groups potentially wouldn’t get any input.
Joe Rukin, Kenilworth STOP HS2 chairman, said: “HS2 called what happened on Tuesday ‘community engagement’, but in reality it was a farcical waste of an evening better described as community enragement.
“When they say they want to ‘involve the community in the decision making process’, what they really mean is that there is a legal requirement for these meetings, so they have to have them and all they do is tell us what they are doing, without following up what they were asked them to do.
“They have had our mitigation proposals for two and a half months, but as far as we can tell, they have done nothing and will not commit to even let us, the people who know the area, talk to their engineers.
“If things do not markedly improve rapidly, I will recommend to the Kenilworth Action Group that we withdraw from the process as the only thing we are currently being allowed to do is legitimise this farce and help them jump through their hoop.”
Following the meeting, Kenilworth MP Jeremy Wright said he would contact Justine Greening, secretary of state for transport, to try to get the meetings between concerned groups and engineers to take place.
He said: “HS2 Ltd need to finalise the route by November this year and they will announce then whether any counter-proposals, including a bored tunnel under Burton Green, are to be incorporated.
“My concern is that they do not intend to give the opportunity for any further dialogue on counter-proposals before announcing their decisions.
“It seems to me that this could mean the bored tunnel is rejected for a reason which, had we known about it in advance of the November deadline, we could have amended the counter-proposal to deal with.
“This would need to be done in conversation with HS2 engineers.”
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 13 C to 24 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
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Temperature: 12 C to 18 C
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