Aylesbury MP slams HS2 disruption causing a 'misery' in Aylesbury Vale

The MP says promises have been broken by HS2 Ltd in recent weeks

By James Lowson
Friday, 18th March 2022, 10:09 am
Updated Friday, 18th March 2022, 10:10 am

Aylesbury MP Rob Butler has slammed HS2 Ltd accusing the rail project of breaking promises to his constituents in recent weeks.

Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday morning (17 March), Mr Butler said local business owners have been misled by HS2 Ltd.

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Mr Stephenson's alarm relates to findings showing that HS2 used an extra £500 million of its £5.6 billion contingency fund between September 2021 and January 2022.

Mr Butler said: “Over the last few weeks, contractors for HS2 Ltd have brought yet more disruption and, frankly, despair to my constituents, especially in Stoke Mandeville and Wendover.

"They have misled property owners, they've gone back on reassurances and they've started work for which they have no permission, which has had to be halted. Will the Minister for HS2 please remind HS2 Ltd that its pledge to be a good neighbour isn't just a slogan, it demands action?”

In reply, Mr Stephenson said: “My Honourable Friend continues to be a real champion for his constituency - something I saw first-hand when he took me on a tour of problem sites across Aylesbury.

Aylesbury MP Rob Butler speaking in the House of Commons on 17 March

"I note what my Honourable Friend says and I'll be more than happy to relay the message to HS2 Ltd, whilst also reminding him and other colleagues across the House, that following my six monthly progress report on HS2 yesterday, there will be a meeting at 2 p.m. today with the CEO of HS2 Ltd Mark Thurston and myself, which he will be very welcome to attend.”

In response to this exchange a HS2 Ltd spokesman told The Bucks Herald: “We are working hard to reduce disruption during construction and we hold regular meetings with Rob Butler and his team to discuss upcoming works and individual cases.

"Property cases are often complex, and while certain elements of the detailed design process are still ongoing, we do not believe that any of his constituents have been misled. We are not aware of any works in his constituency that have been started without the correct permissions in place.”

HS2's presence in Wendover has been highly contentious for years, it was near Wendover where protestors barricaded themselves and constructed a massive treehouse to disrupt construction works.

Last month, Wendover District Council called for an 'independent' assessment of HS2's decision to build a bridge instead of a tunnel at its dean viaduct in the town.

In July 2021, Mr Butler took the HS2 minister around Wendover to discuss the disruption it would cause to day-to-day life and potentially the surrounding environment.

Earlier this month Bucks Council Leader Martin Tett lamented the additional traffic queues caused by diversions coming the HS2 site in Wendover.

"I’m glad the minister recognises the HS2 Ltd and its contractors have a duty to residents and businesses impacted by the construction of this unwanted railway, and I look forward to speaking directly to the CEO of HS2 to ensure he hears the message loud and clear.”