HS2 – more mitigation please

As a major infrastructure project, High Speed 2 (HS2) is not directly connected to the NPPF, although it is a good test of the principles enshrined in the draft planning framework.

We are broadly in favour of investment in rail infrustructure, but have both local, and landscape scale concerns with the detail of HS2 and the route it takes.

We are also concerned that today’s announcement doesn’t disadvantage mitigation measures identified in the full environmental impact assessment, yet to be completed.

Here’s what our Director-General Fiona Reynolds, had to say in response to today’s announcement by Secretary of State for Transport Justine Greening:

“We are pleased that Government has gone some way to respond to local concerns over HS2 by promising a longer tunnel to protect the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, but we continue to take seriously the impact of this route and will need to be assured that enough has been done.

“However, we are disappointed that a tunnel at Hartwell House has not been included in the changes, given its international significance.

“This would be hugely beneficial both for the residents of Aylesbury and Hartwell, and would also protect the Grade I listed Hartwell House and its Grade II* Park and Garden. We hope to see this omission corrected as a result of the full environmental impact assessment which has not yet been completed. We will also be assessing the impact on Hartwell of lowering the  line past Aylesbury and Stoke Mandeville.”

Download our National Trust HHH Consultation Response (pdf / 86KB) to the Government’s consultation.

Chilterns AONB also had words to say about today’s announcement.

Claire Graves, National Trust Senior Press Officer

One thought on “HS2 – more mitigation please

  1. Whilst landscape impact is clearly important the reason why HS2 will not be high speed is because of the congestion in the Euston area. Where trains, buses and roads are already at capacity how will the local transport system cope with an extra 30,000 HS2 passengers arriving and departing in the rush hours (minus a small proportion using Crossrail and Old Oak Common, but adding substantial natural growth of people and associated travel in the capital city)? The answer is that it cannot and will not – with the result that journey times to Birmingham or Glasgow will not be reduced.

    The Government should also have explained how the additional commuting implied by the business plan and in Philip Hammond’s words “making the Country into one travel-to-work-area is consistent with its localism agenda and community building? Again the answer is that there is an unresolvable conflict.


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