Phase 2b Route Unlawful, says Action Group

Last week, HS2 Ltd cancelled their meeting with Crofton Against HS2, and following legal advice about the advice it turns out was given to ministers, they have issued this statement:

“We are advised by legal counsel that the route decision on July 17th is unlawful. It is illegal because it has now been disclosed by HS2 limited that contrary to statements in parliament and in the south Yorkshire report from last year that the decision was based not on the previously consulted route but on an entirely changed refined route kept secret from our community for three years. Furthermore analysis of that route has further revealed from our transport advisers that this route had been changed in secret in 2014 in order to save £200 million from the consulted Meadowhall route by scrapping tunnels and viaducts north of Sheffield. Therefore when HS2 limited chairman sir David Higgins told parliament and the communities that a route change was needed, this was in the knowledge that funds already existed from the secret route to fund a two station solution in Sheffield. This solution we identified in a meeting with HS2 limited in November last year and they admitted had been overlooked, this solution was given to the then transport minister Andrew Jones in February before the general election who promised to respond to it.”

“We are demanding today that the secretary of state immediately suspend the route decision and sack sir David Higgins HS2 chairman because of clear illegality and lies told to parliament and communities such as ours. We ask for a judge led inquiry to be commissioned to examine the true facts of the costs, impacts, benefits of the route decision. How Sheffield city council was given privileged access to HS2 limited and our community was so negligently overlooked. We have met transport minister Paul Maynard and have asked him to launch an independent study into the route alternatives.”

“To learn of the refined Meadowhall route had secretly replaced the consulted route in 2014 and that the savings from this route had been included in the route advocated before parliament, that the decision had been based on this route contrary to the public consultation, thereby invalidating it. It was a bitter blow to learn that for Crofton this secret route, identical in the stretch affecting Crofton, with an enlarged eastern depot and the increased impacts would have been adopted even if the m18 eastern route had been rejected. We remind HS2 Ltd rejected this route in 2011 when it was formerly called east of Rotherham.”

“It turns out HS2 limited has lied about everything to everyone. The chairman should resign before he is sacked.”

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