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UPDATED: HS2 campaigners take case to Downing Street

Handing in the HS2 mitigation blueprint at Downing Street PNL-140228-092615001

Handing in the HS2 mitigation blueprint at Downing Street PNL-140228-092615001

Council chiefs and conservationists visited Number 10 Downing Street hand over a mitigation blueprint on the HS2 proposals.

One of their top demands is a tunnel going all the way through the Chilterns, including Wendover.

At midday on Thursday a letter to the Prime Minister, signed by the Bucks County Council, Woodland Trust, The Ramblers, Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust, Chilterns Conservation Board and Cheryl Gillan MP was presented to Number 10 asking the Prime Minister to directly intervene in this matter.

Campaigners, including county council leader Martin Tett, say that HS2 Ltd engineers have confirmed this proposal is technically feasible, but the idea has been rejected due to ‘cost’.

Estelle Bailey, CEO of the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust, said: “Breaking up wildlife habitats, such as ancient woodland, is one of the major causes for the loss of wildlife.

“Big transport projects like HS2 can carve up the countryside and drive a wedge between irreplaceable sites for wildlife. Ancient woodland is integral to the Chilterns landscape and important for people who live in and visit local towns and villages.

“Proposals that would save ancient woodland in the Chilterns must be given the highest possible priority.”

Steve Rodrick, chief officer of the Chilterns conservation board said: “As both ancient woodland and the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty have been given national protection, how can it make sense to destroy them?

“A full length bored tunnel under the Chilterns to save these national treasures is desirable and practical.”

 

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