For Priors Hardwick, HS2 plans get worse

This letter by Joy Redfern on behalf of the Priors Hardwick HS2 Action Group was originally pblished in the Banbury Guardian.

We are in no doubt the decision announced by Justine Greening recently concerning HS2 was the wrong one for this country and this locality.

There are many reasons for this, economic, environmental and financial as cited by the various interviewees in your articles (Banbury Guardian, January 12).

Our particular concern relates to the very special area of countryside to the west of Priors Hardwick, running from the Boddingtons in its south-east corner to Southam in its north-west corner, a space of 10 square miles of open countryside and farmland with no mettaled roads or industrial development.

It is crisscrossed by footpaths, virtually all farmed land is under stewardship schemes and the Oxford Canal winds its way across it. A haven for birdlife, it has acres of ancient ridge and furrow and is enjoyed by many people each year from all over Britain and beyond who walk, boat and ride there.

The proposed HS2 route would dissect it diagonally on raised embankment rising to eight metres above ground level a mile away from our village.

Like many other threatened communities we have endeavoured to enter into dialogue with HS2 Ltd to discuss mitigation should the scheme go ahead. We have been ignored and our request for mitigation is not acknowledged in the current plan – the proposed track is now higher than in consultation.

To date no recognition has been given to the effects this scheme would have on the environment. Like many people, we are wondering if we still live in a democracy.

Joy Redfern

On behalf of Priors Hardwick HS2 Action Group

8 comments to “For Priors Hardwick, HS2 plans get worse”
  1. @Joy Redfern

    If i recall it wasn’t that long ago that the newspapers were full of comments about the amount of spoil this proposal was going to create as a result of the route being previously lowered! If you read the consultation report lots of people complained about spoil.

    Seems like these comments have been taken on board but now people are complaining that the cuttings are not so deep – and spoil reduced?

    Or have I got the wrong end of the stick?

    A mile away from the route seems a fair way Joy?

  2. If you can make a citation I may change my mind but as I recall it was Lord Adonis who thought this was such a great idea and brought the term “nimby” to the debating table.

  3. No. No you do not. In short, the denialists that were labour proposed this idea and there is too much political leverage from canning it. Its a fear based decision because politics is infested with egocentric children.

    • Sorry, that simply is not true. This was a Conservative scheme from the word go. I am an HS2 supporter and I don’t vote Tory, believe me, but Labour got on the bandwaggon after much agitating from the Tories and a realisation that not having a policy was a vote loser. It always was a Conservative scheme and that is on the record for all to see.

      • If I missed the point I apologise but “High Speed Two Limited – In January 2009, the then Labour government established a company, High Speed Two Limited (HS2 Ltd), chaired by Sir David Rowlands,[9] to examine the case for a new British high-speed line and present a potential route between London and the West Midlands.[10] The government report suggested that ultimately the line could be extended to reach Scotland.” Labour is all over this rubbish.

        • @nameless – the point here is the Labour iniative you describe (accurately) only came about because of a change of heart with the party forced by Conservative Party advocacy of a policy aimed at modal transfer. ie. cancelling the Runway 3 at Heathrow and substiting High Speed Rail (in the form of HS2) – one can only presume that the Labour Party found that this policy stance was attractive to voters (particularly those inclined to switch their allegiance in target marginals – in other words the key voters that decide General Election outcomes under FPTP) – so the catalyst for change within Labour was driven by Conservative Party policy

          • Thanks. So the specifics of this plan are Labour? I’m not against an upgrade of the current line but this is just flawed in so many ways and has been shoved through in a bizarre undemocratic and borderline corrupt way.

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