The Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, announced this week that £70 million will be made availalble to communites affected by HS2.
There are three spearate funds – the HS2 Community and Environment Fund (CEF); the Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF), which together total £40 million; plus a £30 million road safety fund.
The CEF and BLEF will provide £40 million which is set to be allocated at a regional level:
- £15 million for the Central area (Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Buckinghamshire)
- £7.5 million for Greater London
- £7.5 million for the West Midlands (Birmingham, Solihull and Coventry)
- £10 million unallocated to allow flexibility to fund cross-border or route wide projects
Martin Tett, the Chairman of 51m said:
“The announcement is terribly disappointing and implies that the Government just hasn’t grasped the sheer scale of the disruption HS2 will cause to people’s lives and businesses in Buckinghamshire.
“HS2 is a £55 billion project which has already spent £2bn even before a single length of track has been laid. The allocation of £15 million between Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Buckinghamshire – in which around two-thirds of the length of phase one will be laid – is wholly inadequate.
“Given the Government has decided to go ahead with this project, we want to see some real community gain, and £15 million will unfortunately have virtually no impact.
“For two thirds of the length of the line, over seven years of construction, that’s only £2 million a year – an insult for the people of Buckinghamshire, Warwickshire and Staffordshire.”