09-Feb-2016

HS2 – review of the year

(As presented at the 2016 AGM)

27th Dec (2014)

          Network Rail repairs overrun – Kings Cross trains terminate at Finsbury Park

2015

          HS2 (Hybrid Bill) select committee hearing petitions – working south from Birmingham. 1925 submitted, around 20% from the Chilterns

15th Jan

          Select Committee visit to Colne Valley, Denham and Hounslow Outdoor Activity Centre (HOAC)

16th Jan

          MPs say they are "sceptical" about whether the government's HS2 rail line will deliver value for money. (Public Accounts Committee)

Feb 2015

          Peter Brett report on the design for a  Chilterns Long Tunnel published –
an extension from Mantles Wood to beyond Wendover

25th March

          “The Government has yet to make a convincing case for proceeding with the project” – House of Lords Economic Affairs Cttee

          Study to evaluate impact of tourism in the AONB launched by the Chilterns Conservation Board

11-April

          HS2 Amersham Exhibition – Tunnel proposals

8th May 2015 – General Election !

          Conservative manifesto pledged –
“We will…….maintain national protection(s) for Areas
of Outstanding Natural Beauty”
          HS2 select committee member Mike Thornton (LibDem) looses seat
          McLoughlin stays on as Transport Secretary

Bucks CC elections

                   UKIP gain 6 seats, all near the HS2 line (27% of vote); 2nd largest party (Conservatives hold 36 seats)

11th, 22nd  June

          Select Committee visits to Wendover, Chesham & Amersham

26th June

          Bucks CC hold petitioning workshops
          Major Projects Authority reports on HS2 (for 2011,2012)  released

13th -21st  July

          Chilterns tunnel hearings at the Select Committee
          Bucks CC, Chilterns DC, Chilterns Board, REPA etc
          The committee reccomended that the Chilterns Tunnel be extended to South Heath – (as originally suggested in a Chesham Society report - November 2012) - but no further ..  
                   “we believe it’s unlikely that an overwhelming case will be made out for a long tunnel option” (Robert Simms – Cttee chair)

10th  Aug

          Second select committee visit to (some of the) AONB

28th  August

          “C6” tunnel extension (to South Heath) confirmed, Additional Provisions (4) to be published

23rd  September

          Chesham Society & Town Council petitions (against the original bill) heard – apparently well received

October

          Additional Provisions 4 – to enable Chiltern Tunnel extension, and a new assessment of AONB trafic released
          Consultation period extended due to errors in the Supplementary Environmental Statement, confirmed by (Chesham Society) FOI requests ; 
          Chilterns Society raise “A memorial” at Lords & Commons Standing Orders Cttees to extend the petitioning period – Standing Orderss waived.
          Chesham Society  & Town Council submit petitions concerning the AP4 proposals

7th December

          ‘Locus Standi’ challenges issued (by HS2 Ltd) against 190 of 230 Chilterns petitioners

2016

5th  Jan

          AONB ‘Locus Standi’ hearings – all but 3 challenges are upheld by the committee

19th  Jan

          REPA presentation on noise and TBOW (“Tunnel Bored One Way”) – full AONB tunnel, bored from the Southern (M25) end.

20th  Jan

          Great Missenden Parish Council hearing – impact of the new portal access (‘haul’) road, and AONB  traffic concerns presented.

22nd  Jan

          Bucks CC & HS2 reached provisional agreements regarding Junction assessments, & moving the Chilterns portal haul road further from Great Missenden

28th  Jan

          Cheryl  Gillans petition presented … main points –

 

Future attractions –

          Select Committe reports to the House of Commons
          3rd reading – then bill goes to Lords, second select committee stage – but with limited powers.

          Aarhus Convention compliance committee to consider HS2AA/(Hillingdon) complaint – lack of initial Strategic Environmental Assessment. Now scheduled for 10th March

          Twin bore tunnel – safety assessment to be completed (or not ..)