HS2 Ltd break agreement on rights of way surveys

Surveyors working for HS2 Ltd have been spotted surveying today, Saturday 18th August, despite agreeing that they would only conduct the initial surveys on Sundays.

An email, which has been forwarded to Stop HS2, was sent on 30th July to the lead engagement officer at Buckinghamshire County Council and clearly states their brief;

“Full day survey (continuous count and sample interview), Sundays from 5 Aug to 9 Sept (0800-1800)”

Despite this, surveyors were spotted first thing on a bridleway between Aylesbury and Bishopstone. This specific right of way can be found by entering the postcode ‘HP21 9LN’ at http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/bcc/row/online_map.page

Surveyors have also been seen today further north in the county, around the Twyford area.

Surveys will be going on at weekends up until 9th September, so if you see any in your area please let us know at penny@stophs2.org and joe@stophs2.org and we can pass the message on. HS2 Ltd have a legal requirement to survey all rights of way which HS2 would cross if built.

It has been confirmed that in the West Midlands, footpaths between Meriden/A45 and Water Orton will be surveyed tomorrow, Sunday 19th August.

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10 comments to “HS2 Ltd break agreement on rights of way surveys”
  1. Mr Bigland ,It is not fiddling if someone uses the right of way once a week it would need 52 people to represent that fact.It could be that a group of ramblers (and we are encouraged to walk for our health) use a number of paths through the year but not on the day they count how
    fair is that.Thse walkways are important why else would they be marked.They are a right ,if someone wishes to divert one for any reason it takes a lot of hassle to do so .It seems that HS2 just intend to ride roughshod through the rules of the land.

    • You can’t divert a public right of way for any reason. The reason has to be one recognised in law. Remember the path across the lawn at Chequers? It couldn’t be diverted on security grounds!

  2. A “Right of Way” means exactly what it says. There is a legal obligation to continue to allow users such as walkers to travel along that footpath. That “Right” is not dependent on the number of people that use that “Right of Way”. So the surveying of usage is completely inappropriate.

    • Such schemes are obliged to carry out such surveys whenever such a scheme is to take place. The M40 North of Oxford, the Brize Norton slip from the A40, all required alterations to rights of way. HS2 is doing nothing differently. Provided the rights of way continue to join the same points without obstruction there is not considered to be a loss of amenity.

      • When HS1 was constructed in Kent, not all rights of way crossed by this high speed line were reconnected afterwards. Footpath surveys were carried out before the construction of Crossrail, and we have been led to believe that some of the lesser used rights of way will not be reconnected after construction is completed.

        HS2 Ltd has said they will reconnect affected footpaths “where feasible”. Documentation issued by HS2 Ltd/DfT in 2011 showed that 27 footpaths would be crossed by HS2. The Ramblers have identified more than 160 footpaths will be crossed by HS2.

        I suggest we are not just talking about alteration of rights of way, but removal of rights of way in some cases. That will not be a satisfactory outcome.

        • You say “the Ramblers have identified more than 160 footpaths will be crossed by HS2”. I think this is an underestimate. So far I have traversed all but two of the crossing points with public rights of way that are between London Euston and Offchurch (near Leamington Spa). I have done 137 crossing points. There are details about each of these 137 crossing points at http://www.thehs2.com. I estimate that there are 57 north of Offchurch. So that makes a total of 196 crossing points.

  3. How can using your rights of way be termed ‘fiddling’

    If you seriously want to discuss ‘fiddling’ lets talk about

    wcml capacity claims
    ‘losing’ over 400 consultation responses
    collapsing business case
    biased consultation process
    blighted communities

  4. Surely for an accurate survey they need to obtain data on every day of the week and not just Sundays?

  5. So, let me get this right. You’re crying ‘foul’ because you’re not being given the opportunity to fiddle the usage figures by telling your supporters to go out and use these paths?

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