Aylesbury MP confronts HS2 minister over 'dreadful railway'

The Aylesbury MP says he wanted the minister to understand the issues he believes HS2 is causing first-hand.

By James Lowson
Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 9:38 am
Updated Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 11:00 am

Aylesbury MP Rob Butler wanted the HS2 minister Andrew Stephenson to understand the noise and environmental harm he believes the construction is causing.

The Aylesbury MP says he receives weekly contact from both residents and businesses complaining of HS2's impact.

Mr Stephenson was in Aylesbury and during his visit Mr Butler took the minister to see Stoke Mandeville and visit landowners affected by HS2’s construction.

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Minister Andrew Stephenson with Rob Butler MP, Reverend Sally Moring, Ron Petersen and Councillor Sheila Bulpett at St Mary’s Church, Wendover

Mr Butler says that these landowners have experienced damage to their property by contractors, delayed compensation payments and a lack of communication about key decisions.

Councillors Peter Strachan and Richard Newcombe also voiced their displeasure with the HS2 construction when the pair of ministers visited Wendover Cricket Club.

Mr Butler also chaired a meeting attended by the Chairman of Wendover Parish Council, Councillor Sheila Bulpett, the Chairman of Wendover HS2 Action Group, Ron Petersen, and the Reverend Sally Moring, at St Mary’s Church, Wendover.

All local officials were in agreement that the current HS2 is unsatisfactory, especially in Wendover, which they believe to be one of the worst affected areas.

Minister Andrew Stephenson with Rob Butler MP, Councillors Richard Newcombe, Peter Strachan and Steven Broadbent at Wendover Cricket Club

Mr Butler said: “I was determined to show the minister first-hand the realities of life with HS2, in person and at the places most affected. Week after week I have complaints from

residents and businesses about the unnecessary harm being caused by construction of the line, which will bring zero benefit to Buckinghamshire.

“I also made it clear that a bored mined tunnel would make a massive difference to the lives of Wendover residents, who have campaigned for many years to get a fair

hearing. I’m glad that for the first time they have now had the opportunity to argue their case with the minister face to face, in the very place that is set to suffer so much.

“Having seen the cruel realities of this dreadful railway, I hope Andrew Stephenson will bear their plight in mind in the months and years ahead. I was particularly pleased to be able to highlight to him that the lack of consistency and communication from HS2 Ltd has real-world implications for decent, hard-working local people who are just trying to get on with their lives.

“The message to him was simple and unanimous – we must have better mitigation from the noise, the traffic disruption and the environmental harm being done by

HS2; HS2 Ltd says it wants to be a good neighbour – those words must be matched with action!”

The merits of HS2 will be debated in Parliament in September, after a Chris Packham-led petition objecting to the economic and environmental impact of the construction gained over 150,000 signatures in under a week.