Looking ahead to Monday.

On Monday, hundreds of Stop HS2 campaigners will be heading down to Parliament to try and educate MPs and Lords as to what HS2 actually means, why the rhetoric being used to justify it doesn’t add up, and why HS2 should be consigned to the dustbin.

The reason why Monday 25th November was chosen is that we’ve known for the last month that the Government will deposit their Hybrid Bill, a piece of legislation which would set in motion the construction of HS2, detailing how it would be built. Of course this is just the start of a procedure which would a bill procedure would take years.

While the first reading of a bill is just a procedural non-event which doesn’t have a debate with it and will last about five seconds, what it does mark is the publication of supporting documents.  One of these will be the Environmental Statement, estimated to be about 50,000 pages long, and a consultation on this will start on Monday. Remarkably, this consultation will take only eight weeks, concluding on January 24th. This is in comparison with a nine-page consultation on tractor speeds which has been given twelve weeks.

It isn’t expected that there will be any nice surprises in the published documents, but it is quite conceivable there will be some nasty ones, as the ‘book of reference’ details the land HS2 Ltd will need for construction the line.

The deposition of the Hybrid Bill marks the start of the endgame in the campaign, so we really hope you can join us at Parliament.

We have arranged a number of different events for the day, and we hope as many people as possible will come to each of them.

11am – 12 noon Demonstration at Old Palace Yard. People are likely to start arriving earlier from about 10.30, so please come along if you are able to.

1pm – 3pm Committee Room 12 has been booked for people – that’s you! – to arrange meetings with their MP, or with a Lord, to discuss HS2. Please ask them for a meeting.

You can find contact details for Lords on https://www.writetothem.com/lords. This will allow you to search for Lords who share your interests, or are connected to a locality, and send them on an email. An individualised email can be very effective.

You can also use https://www.writetothem.com to find how to contact your own MP.

1pm – 3pm Committee Room 11will be an event, with speakers for MPs and Lords, expelling the problems with HS2.

3.30pm – 5.30pm Committee Room 14 This is for members of the public, and will have speakers: it is a repeat of the earlier event.

Please contact your MP and tell them about the day, as the more people who tell them about it, the more likely they are to be able to attend.

For details of travel arrangements by local action groups see https://stophs2.org/news/9760-lobby-day-transport-details and for other details see Join us and make a difference at Parliament, 25th November.

2 comments to “Looking ahead to Monday.”
  1. Just struggled to access central Chilterns on the ES. The ES is far more difficult on my computer (5 yrs old).
    Seems even more difficult to access and process the info which seems even more opaque than the DES.
    It is also complex to compare the two DES:ES and work out what are adverse changes.
    Really need both in paper copies to do it any justice (even 2 computers is difficult).
    I will need to spend hours at Local Library with hard copy. Will there be queues/appointments to view?

    The use of ‘segments’ is deliberately misleading in order to understand your own area I do recommend reading 2 sectors in each direction up and down line in addition as the impacts are additive and cumulative and the false/boundaries-divisions are good hiding areas.

    For an area such as the AONB the use of ‘parts’ rather than ‘a whole’ is deliberately misleading,
    and contrary to best practice. The impact should be assessed pertaining to the whole of the AONB which is a protected entity in itself.

    The ES ‘consultation’ is HS2 ltd being passive aggressive and Parliament has supported this in a manner that is frankly disgraceful. I hope that CPRE and others address the issue of ‘time for a response’ with legal/UN challenge.

    In law parties sometimes swamp the other with info and deliberately jumble the bundle as a tactic.

    The Envionrment is the achilles heel of HS2, probably more than cost. We can now see that the cost argument has being manipulated in order that the Environmental Mitigation is done badly and bodged. We now see Tunnels being used to preserve industrial sites and reduce compensation but not to protect the landscape even when there is a proven cost benefit.
    This is the Machiavellian school of politics

    The fact that the DES has been available for consultation makes no difference to the need for full analysis of the ES. The DES full of statements that deferred to full evaluation to the ES. And there are important changes slipped in.

    It defies logic and the comparison with the timing for a planning application is spurious and frankly provocative but indicative of the contempt of MPs to the electorate. The matter has been addressed from the floor to the Rt Hon Members so they can’t pretend ignorance in this matter.
    The exercise is according to one source meant to reduce the number of representations to the Parliamentary Committees by those effected/victims of the project and to limit the applications to those directly effected. Ie the hope that organisations and individuals will be overwhelmed.

    The AONB is a nationally protected resource and so any member of the public can advocate for it and raise issues

    My advice;If in doubt having perused the documents in the allotted time check out your concerns with one of the larger bodies and submit your statement or form a neighbourhood group. Your local council may be mounting their own response to which you can also have input.

    Responses to the Environmental Statement will be considered before the second reading of the HS2 Hybrid Bill. The deadline for responding to this consultation is 24 January 2014.

    For all Green Belt/AONB /SSI the following article is telling. I sent it as a (24 hr) late addendum to paper I sent to Transport Committee and asked for it to be included. Sadly it was not.
    The Chilerns Board are supposed to have launched a new document on Monday regarding value of damage of un-tunneled section of Chilterns AONB (Hyde Heath and onward). I have not been able to access this or seen any press regarding it save a pre-notice advisary in BFPress.


    “Countryside ‘devalued to make way for HS2’
    The Government has quietly cut the “landscape value” it assigns to some
    of England’s finest countryside by up to 90 per cent.

    The move, which has serious implications for the green belt, comes amid reports that ministers are pushing for the relaxation of planning laws to allow more building on greenfield sites.
    The new values emerged through Freedom of Information Act requests by campaigners against the controversial HS2 high-speed rail line, which the Government wants to drive through London’s green belt and the Chilterns, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
    “Landscape impact value” tries to quantify the cash value of green space to Britain and the environment. It is used to examine how much damage development will do and is different from the commercial or sale value of the land.
    In an official 2010 assessment by HS2 Ltd, which is building the line, the 109-mile route from London to Birmingham was estimated to cause £4.3 billion of damage to the landscape.
    On the London green belt and Chiltern AONB sections alone, the “landscape impact” was estimated at just under £1.1 billion.
    A new assessment by the Department for Transport estimated that the impact damage for the route is £957 million, 78 per cent lower.
    The impact of the line in its London green belt and Chilterns AONB sections was said to be £114 million, a tenth of the 2010 figure.
    Some reductions are because of measures taken to reduce the line’s impact. There will be longer tunnels and more “green tunnels” — roofed-over cuttings — than in the original plans. But the most dramatic reductions have been achieved by redefining the most valuable areas of countryside, including the green belt and AONB, as worth far less than before.
    The valuation system classifies open space into seven categories. The most valuable is urban parkland. AONBs and other unspoiled natural land are the second most valuable and green belt land is the third most valuable category.
    In the new assessment, almost all the London green belt and AONB land along HS2’s proposed route has been demoted, for valuation purposes, to the lowest category of “intensive farmland,” worth just £103 per hectare.
    Hilary Wharf, of the HS2 Action Alliance, warned the move “establishes a precedent that the most precious green space can be devalued whenever the Government wants to build on it badly enough”.
    “We may see this happening with future big projects all over the country,” she said.”

  2. Yes HMGOV whilst I lose my inconsequential peasant’s business lock up & the people I rent it from lose their
    riding stables I can sleep soundly after my shelf stacking day shift in Tescos knowing that my sacrifice will help make Britain great again so that everyone will be able to afford Sky cable with flat screen tvs & Chelsea tractors to take the kids to billionaire college.
    Best of luck everyone, I have to spend the day scrattin’ to pay the next instalment ,maybe Guy Fawkes was on the right lines.

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