Prime Minister called to step in over HS2 Chilterns row

Bucks Free Press: Prime Minister David Cameron Prime Minister David Cameron

CONSERVATION groups will be delivering a letter to the Prime Minister today calling for an HS2 tunnel to be extended - saying it will save more than ten hectares of ancient woodland.

David Cameron will be personally asked to intervene today, the final day of a consultation on the rail project's environmental statement.

Campaign groups say HS2 Ltd figures suggest 32ha of irreplaceable ancient woodland will be lost if building work on the line goes ahead - but almost a third of this can be saved by extending a tunnel through the Chilterns.

The letter - signed by the Woodland Trust, The Ramblers, Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust, Chilterns Conservation Board, Buckinghamshire County Council and Chesham and Amersham MP Cheryl Gillan - will be handed in at Downing Street at midday.

The campaigners say 10.2ha of ancient woodland - which has existed continuously for more than 400 years - can be saved if a tunnel through the Chilterns is extended by 10.4km from Mantles Wood, near Amersham, to Wendover.

HS2 Ltd engineers have confirmed this is technically feasible but the idea has been rejected due to cost.

But Hilary Allison, Woodland Trust Policy Director, said: "There is absolutely no excuse to bring a tunnel portal up into the middle of an irreplaceable ancient wood. Ancient woodland is a unique and irreplaceable habitat, widely recognised as having national importance and no amount of new planting would ever fully compensate for its loss.

"This tunnel extension is a sensible option and we hope to see government and HS2 Ltd give it proper consideration."

Steve Rodrick, Chief Officer of the Chilterns Conservation Board, added: "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."

Meanwhile, it's been claimed HS2 could lead to the extinction of a rare breed of protected bat in Bucks.

Researchers from the University of Leeds concluded in a report for the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust that Bechstein's bats face 'local extinction' if no significant changes are made to the route of the line.

The report said there is "no evidence to suggest that any of the mitigation proposals...will be effective, and they may do more harm than good".

Matt Jackson, head of conservation strategy and policy at BBOWT, said the route of the line would "create a barrier" to the bats' movements through woodland.

He said: "Natural England will only grant licences for the building of HS2 if there is evidence that protected species will not be wiped out, but the scientific review suggests this is precisely what will happen unless major changes are made."

Comments (6)

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11:05am Thu 27 Feb 14

sparky49 says...

I see the Amersham people want the tunnel extended to Wendover, but what about the people in Wendover and beyond? Another example of nimbyism.
I see the Amersham people want the tunnel extended to Wendover, but what about the people in Wendover and beyond? Another example of nimbyism. sparky49
  • Score: -4

3:40pm Thu 27 Feb 14

CrazyBikerGran says...

Personally, I think that the whole project is a waste of time and money. It's going to cost millions to create a railway that is considered a complete waste of space by many organisations. It's not even going to bring money into the country because this stupid government are considering giving the contract to a Chinese company… Have a look at the HS2 Action Alliance FB page, that'll give you some idea as to just how hated the whole project is.
https://www.facebook
.com/HS2AA
Personally, I think that the whole project is a waste of time and money. It's going to cost millions to create a railway that is considered a complete waste of space by many organisations. It's not even going to bring money into the country because this stupid government are considering giving the contract to a Chinese company… Have a look at the HS2 Action Alliance FB page, that'll give you some idea as to just how hated the whole project is. https://www.facebook .com/HS2AA CrazyBikerGran
  • Score: 3

7:48pm Thu 27 Feb 14

sparky49 says...

CrazyBikerGran wrote:
Personally, I think that the whole project is a waste of time and money. It's going to cost millions to create a railway that is considered a complete waste of space by many organisations. It's not even going to bring money into the country because this stupid government are considering giving the contract to a Chinese company… Have a look at the HS2 Action Alliance FB page, that'll give you some idea as to just how hated the whole project is.
https://www.facebook

.com/HS2AA
yet another against HS2, Question if Milliband promises to cancel the project will you vote labour? Just imagine the tory chilterns going RED. It will never happen because the true Blues will still vote Blue and have a big train set in their garden.
Go on and build it I say.
[quote][p][bold]CrazyBikerGran[/bold] wrote: Personally, I think that the whole project is a waste of time and money. It's going to cost millions to create a railway that is considered a complete waste of space by many organisations. It's not even going to bring money into the country because this stupid government are considering giving the contract to a Chinese company… Have a look at the HS2 Action Alliance FB page, that'll give you some idea as to just how hated the whole project is. https://www.facebook .com/HS2AA[/p][/quote]yet another against HS2, Question if Milliband promises to cancel the project will you vote labour? Just imagine the tory chilterns going RED. It will never happen because the true Blues will still vote Blue and have a big train set in their garden. Go on and build it I say. sparky49
  • Score: -4

8:41pm Thu 27 Feb 14

FLiszt says...

sparky49 wrote:
CrazyBikerGran wrote:
Personally, I think that the whole project is a waste of time and money. It's going to cost millions to create a railway that is considered a complete waste of space by many organisations. It's not even going to bring money into the country because this stupid government are considering giving the contract to a Chinese company… Have a look at the HS2 Action Alliance FB page, that'll give you some idea as to just how hated the whole project is.
https://www.facebook


.com/HS2AA
yet another against HS2, Question if Milliband promises to cancel the project will you vote labour? Just imagine the tory chilterns going RED. It will never happen because the true Blues will still vote Blue and have a big train set in their garden.
Go on and build it I say.
People who are against Labour's project taken on by the Conservative and L-D Coalition already have a political option to vote against HS2: UKIP.

As you say, just imagine the Chilterns and constituencies up the line turning purple, as people see through the Conservative felled falling tree logo.

Spending over £50B on 2% of commuters with no significant national benefit but with all the disruption for years is balmy when just a fraction of that could give speedy relief to the 150K London commuters standing every day.

UKIP is picking up support and votes from all three of the other mainstream Parties - come on, join us!
[quote][p][bold]sparky49[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CrazyBikerGran[/bold] wrote: Personally, I think that the whole project is a waste of time and money. It's going to cost millions to create a railway that is considered a complete waste of space by many organisations. It's not even going to bring money into the country because this stupid government are considering giving the contract to a Chinese company… Have a look at the HS2 Action Alliance FB page, that'll give you some idea as to just how hated the whole project is. https://www.facebook .com/HS2AA[/p][/quote]yet another against HS2, Question if Milliband promises to cancel the project will you vote labour? Just imagine the tory chilterns going RED. It will never happen because the true Blues will still vote Blue and have a big train set in their garden. Go on and build it I say.[/p][/quote]People who are against Labour's project taken on by the Conservative and L-D Coalition already have a political option to vote against HS2: UKIP. As you say, just imagine the Chilterns and constituencies up the line turning purple, as people see through the Conservative felled falling tree logo. Spending over £50B on 2% of commuters with no significant national benefit but with all the disruption for years is balmy when just a fraction of that could give speedy relief to the 150K London commuters standing every day. UKIP is picking up support and votes from all three of the other mainstream Parties - come on, join us! FLiszt
  • Score: -3

9:56am Fri 28 Feb 14

sparky49 says...

FLiszt wrote:
sparky49 wrote:
CrazyBikerGran wrote:
Personally, I think that the whole project is a waste of time and money. It's going to cost millions to create a railway that is considered a complete waste of space by many organisations. It's not even going to bring money into the country because this stupid government are considering giving the contract to a Chinese company… Have a look at the HS2 Action Alliance FB page, that'll give you some idea as to just how hated the whole project is.
https://www.facebook



.com/HS2AA
yet another against HS2, Question if Milliband promises to cancel the project will you vote labour? Just imagine the tory chilterns going RED. It will never happen because the true Blues will still vote Blue and have a big train set in their garden.
Go on and build it I say.
People who are against Labour's project taken on by the Conservative and L-D Coalition already have a political option to vote against HS2: UKIP.

As you say, just imagine the Chilterns and constituencies up the line turning purple, as people see through the Conservative felled falling tree logo.

Spending over £50B on 2% of commuters with no significant national benefit but with all the disruption for years is balmy when just a fraction of that could give speedy relief to the 150K London commuters standing every day.

UKIP is picking up support and votes from all three of the other mainstream Parties - come on, join us!
Sorry can't join you, I am a true RED. However I do agree with your point on the UKIP support. BULLY BOY Cameron is running scared.
[quote][p][bold]FLiszt[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sparky49[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CrazyBikerGran[/bold] wrote: Personally, I think that the whole project is a waste of time and money. It's going to cost millions to create a railway that is considered a complete waste of space by many organisations. It's not even going to bring money into the country because this stupid government are considering giving the contract to a Chinese company… Have a look at the HS2 Action Alliance FB page, that'll give you some idea as to just how hated the whole project is. https://www.facebook .com/HS2AA[/p][/quote]yet another against HS2, Question if Milliband promises to cancel the project will you vote labour? Just imagine the tory chilterns going RED. It will never happen because the true Blues will still vote Blue and have a big train set in their garden. Go on and build it I say.[/p][/quote]People who are against Labour's project taken on by the Conservative and L-D Coalition already have a political option to vote against HS2: UKIP. As you say, just imagine the Chilterns and constituencies up the line turning purple, as people see through the Conservative felled falling tree logo. Spending over £50B on 2% of commuters with no significant national benefit but with all the disruption for years is balmy when just a fraction of that could give speedy relief to the 150K London commuters standing every day. UKIP is picking up support and votes from all three of the other mainstream Parties - come on, join us![/p][/quote]Sorry can't join you, I am a true RED. However I do agree with your point on the UKIP support. BULLY BOY Cameron is running scared. sparky49
  • Score: -1

11:00am Fri 28 Feb 14

HW1 says...

Use your brains Cameron and scrap it. We need it like we need a hole in the head. How can you justify this excessive expenditure when everything else is being cut back including our military forces etc. Just hope the bats will save the day and force Cameron to scrap it.
Use your brains Cameron and scrap it. We need it like we need a hole in the head. How can you justify this excessive expenditure when everything else is being cut back including our military forces etc. Just hope the bats will save the day and force Cameron to scrap it. HW1
  • Score: 1

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