What to Expect from the HS2 Ltd Enquiry Desk

Last Tuesday (15th November 2016), people living on Phase 2b of the HS2 route were looking to see what the potential changes might be. One person in Church Fenton, at the very Northern end of the HS2 proposals (not impacted either way by the proposed M18 route) was one of them. However the responses from HS2 Ltd as she attempted to get information out of them were farcical.

She started off by ringing their helpline, and then got an emailed response. For all the new people, this thread is pretty typical of what you can expect from HS2 Ltd. Whilst it’s clear that four years of frustration is coming out here, HS2 Ltd should expect nothing less as they get the purpose of the query wrong from the outset.

From: HS2Enquiries <HS2Enquiries@hs2.org.uk>
Date: 15/11/2016 08:01 (GMT+00:00)
Subject: Proposed route


Thank you for your calls to HS2 regarding the M18 route.  Please find a link to the proposed route here

If you would like to provide me with your full address I can provide more detailed information.

Kind regards

Sent: 15 November 2016 08:14
To: HS2Enquiries <HS2Enquiries@hs2.org.uk>
Subject: Re: Proposed route

I have absolutely no interest in the M18 route.

What is wrong with you people?

The link in your email doesn’t work.


From: HS2Enquiries <HS2Enquiries@hs2.org.uk>

Date: 15/11/2016 08:43 (GMT+00:00)
Subject: RE: Proposed route


Thank you for your email.  HS2 are currently updating the website now which is why the link is not working.  As soon as it Is updated I will resend.

Kind regards

Sent: 15 November 2016 08:48
To: HS2Enquiries <HS2Enquiries@hs2.org.uk>
Subject: RE: Proposed route


Why wasn’t this ready and in place when you knew there would be an announcement today?

Why are you talking about the route of the M18?

Does anyone in your office have the faintest clue what they are doing?

From: HS2Enquiries <HS2Enquiries@hs2.org.uk>
Date: 15/11/2016 09:46 (GMT+00:00)
Subject: RE: Proposed route


The proposed route map is ready, however since your first call this morning it has been temporarily withdrawn whilst the route announcement is made officially in parliament (expected at 7:10* onwards his morning). Once this essential protocol has been passed, the map and route 2 information will be restored on-line. Please accept my apologies for any confusion and we will let you know latterly when the information become publicly available.


*NOTE – Time of email well past 7.10

Sent: 15 November 2016 10:04
To: HS2Enquiries <HS2Enquiries@hs2.org.uk>
Subject: RE: Proposed route

That doesn’t make sense.

There is no requirement to keep anything secret in advance of an announcement .

Just the usual HS2 blah.

Besides, I found your maps for myself an hour ago.

If you’d like to donate some of your feeble grinning leaders half a million a year salary to me I might tell you how to find your own maps.

As I said…..pathetic but par for the course. Would be comical if it wasn’t a national tragedy .

From: HS2Enquiries <HS2Enquiries@hs2.org.uk>
Date: 15/11/2016 12:36 (GMT+00:00)
Subject: RE: Proposed route


Thank you for your comments and feedback and once again we apologise for any inconvenience caused, but we do have to follow protocol. Please also be aware that this only a preferred route announcement at this time and is subject to consultation, which you have every right to participate in as well attending upcoming events in the new year. There is still considerable time to consider your options in the light of the announcement, so I hope you will take this opportunity to feedback into the consultation


The final punchline here is of course that although Church Fenton gets a longer and higher viaduct as a result of the route 2b design changes, these will not now be subject to further consultation, despite what the HS2 Enquiry Desk said.

This is shown quite clearly by HS2 Ltd on their own map.

Yellow lines indicate parts of the route which is up for further consultation, there will be no further consultation on the parts of the route marked in purple.

Church Fenton is at the very top right of the map.

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