HS2 Update 4 Mar 2016

We have received the following update from the Buckinghamshire County Council HS2 team:

(Note: previous Updates can be found on the Campaigns part of this web site at https://www.amershamsociety.org/topics/hs2/)

This E-update looks at the HS2 House of Commons Select Committee final report and upcoming community events.

Select Committee Report 22 February 2016

The House of Commons Select Committee published its final report of the 22 February. Key points from the report were:

  • The position on the Chilterns Tunnel remains the same. The Committee states that it does not support any further extension to the tunnel.
  • The position on the Wendover Green Tunnel is that the Additional Provisions 5 and Supplementary Environmental Statement 4 scheme is preferred with additional noise mitigation along the A413.
  • The report states that the Community and Environment Funds are not large enough and recommends they are substantially increased.
  • The report asks for high speed broadband and 4G to be provided along the entire route whether areas are commercially viable for the broadband service provider or not. The Committee state 3km from the line as an indicative area. This is in recognition of areas that receive no benefit from the scheme.
  • In recognition of areas that derive no economic benefit from the scheme the report argues that local authorities along the HS2 route should be able to bid to the Department for Transport for funding for highways schemes if they are appropriate and capable of timely implementation. Additional funds should be made available by the Secretary of State for this.

The County Council is now assessing its position ahead of the House of Lords petitioning process beginning.

The full report can be found at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cmhs2/129/129.pdf.

House of Lords Petitioning

The County Council has been given an estimate on the timescales for the Third Reading of the Hybrid Bill in the House of Commons and the House of Lords petitioning period. The approximate date for the Third Reading is the 23 March (the day before Parliament rises for Easter). This will be followed by the First and Second readings in the House of Lords which would then open up the petitioning period for the House of Lords. If the period for petitioning is 2- 3 weeks in length then it is possible petitioning could close as early as the 11 April. It should be stressed that these timeframes are a worst case scenario and estimated. We will endeavour to keep you updated on these.

Property Bond Option

The HS2 Select Committee published a response to the matter of introducing a Property Bond which some groups and individual petitioners have requested. You can read the short report at http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/hs2/Property_Bond_option.pdf.

Community events

The Councils have organised dates for five events in April to share our House of Lords petitioning matters with the public and to update on the HS2 process as a whole. This is also an opportunity to reflect on the House of Commons petition period and assurances received by the Councils.

5 April – 18.30 – 20.00 New County Offices, Walton Street Aylesbury – Mezz Room 1

7 April – 18.30 – 20.00 Charndon Community Centre, Main Street, Charndon, Oxfordshire, OX27 0BL

12 April – 18.30 – 20.00 Chiltern District Council Offices King George V House, King George V Road, Amersham, Buckinghamshire, HP6 5AW

19 April – 18.30 – 20.00 Wendover MS Centre, Oakwood Close, Wendover, Bucks, HP22 5LX

21 April – 18.30 – 20.00–The Pavilion, Iver Recreation Ground, High Street, Iver

Due to the size of the venues the places available at these events will be limited and will be on a first come first served basis. Please email HS2Blueprint@buckscc.gov.uk to reserve your place. Please ensure you specify which event you are interested in attending. If any of these events are significantly oversubscribed we will try to arrange a further meeting.

In order to make these meetings as useful as possible if you have any particular questions or topic areas that you would like discussed please let us know.

Buckinghamshire County Council HS2 Summit

The County Council will be holding a HS2 Summit on 24 March 2016 from (9.30 to 12.30) at Green Park, Aston Clinton, HP22 5NE. There are 150 places available at this event on a first come first served basis. Please email HS2Blueprint@buckscc.gov.uk to reserve your place.

Buckinghamshire County Council HS2 team:

Jackie Copcutt jcopcutt@buckscc.gov.uk Tel: 01296 383793
Darl Sweetland dsweetland@buckscc.gov.uk Tel: 01296 383463
HS2 Blueprint Mailbox HS2Blueprint@buckscc.gov.uk
BCC HS2 Webpages: http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/environment/hs2/