Press Release: 23 February 2011 Stop HS2 Sounds out Hammond over £215m noise reduction measures along the proposed high speed rail route

Stop HS2 Limited is the National Campaigning Organisation against High Speed Two (HS2).

Stop HS2 does not welcome the Transport Secretary Phillip Hammond’s confirmation of his intention to spend £215m in addressing concerns regarding potential noise pollution from High Speed 2. We want to see the project scrapped altogether.

Lizzy Williams, Chairman of STOP HS2 said

“We understand Channel 4 has been given exclusive access to a report by Booz Temple regarding sound attenuation on this project. We find this insulting to the members of the public whose homes are directly at risk of HS2 who have still not received any formal notification from the government that their home or property lies under the path of the proposed route”.

Peter Waterman (pop mogul) admitted on Inside Out when he filmed with Lizzy that he was “shocked” to learn no one had been contacted when visiting a home affected in Water Orton near Birmingham. Lizzy genuinely believes Peter expressed this opinion on camera to try and force the issue to be addressed she added “you could see he was genuinely upset by this”.

Lizzy Williams also gave an exclusive interview, broadcast yesterday to Cathy Newman, Politics Correspondent Channel 4. Lizzy said “The public consultation hasn’t been carried out. The public haven’t decided whether they want this yet or not. Any expenditure of taxpayers’ money on this project before consultation is an act of pre-determination we will seek to challenge legally.”

Talking about sound attenuation in detail days before the announcement of the start of the National Consultation is a deliberate ploy to distract the Nation from the fact that from Monday 28th February they are being consulted on the project being needed or indeed wanted at all. It is absolutely vital the nation understands they are being asked by the Government to comment on the proposal and the £33 billion price tag.

The £215m for sound attenuation is not an additional amount, it has already been included in the Government’s estimated costs and indeed sound attenuation will be required as a statutory obligation in these circumstances. Mr Hammond’s office confirmed this to Cathy Newman yesterday when we queried this. It is not a gift or a peace offering. It is distraction tactics.

In addition, the failure of this Government to provide an Environmental Impact Assessment for the consultation makes it impossible for anyone, including acoustic engineers, to estimate accurately the mitigation measures required. The level of detail this requires simply does not exist at this stage. We also point out that trees DO NOT offer sound protection.

The Government continues to spend huge sums of public money on HS2 before the nation has decided it may go ahead. The Government plans to spend £750 m within this parliament on HS2 and is already spending over £1.2m per month on the project.

Lizzy added that “to continue spending on this project when essential services are being cut when there is simply no business case or no environmental case is quite frankly immoral. There are better value for money and more environmentally sustainable alternatives the Government is refusing to acknowledge. HS2 is a complete waste of taxpayers money when we can least afford it”.

Note to Editors

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