HS2 is “damaging” Aylesbury with “no benefit”, the local Labour Party has claimed in response to the railway company talking up its green credentials.

This week, HS2 Ltd hailed the reduced environmental impact of 72 concrete beams being used to build the Thame Valley Viaduct, which will carry the new high speed railway line across the flood plain of the River Thame past Aylesbury.

The 880m viaduct’s 90-tonne beams have a “lighter-weight design”, which HS2 says “reduces the amount of carbon-intensive concrete and steel in the structure – cutting its carbon footprint by around a third”.

However, Mark Bateman, Chair of Aylesbury Labour Party branded HS2’s claims “bizarre”, telling the BBC Local Democracy Reporting Service that the construction of the high-speed rail line between London and Birmingham has impacted the local environment around Aylesbury.

He said: “It seems a bizarre statement to suggest that HS2 is being built ‘with the environment in mind’, when you look at the destruction of the environment that HS2 is responsible for surrounding Aylesbury.

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“The damage has been done with no benefit to Aylesbury whatsoever.”

HS2 also claimed that its prefabricated approach – building elements of the viaduct off site – also cuts the project’s carbon footprint by reducing construction traffic to the site.

However, Mr Bateman said: “Using environmentally friendly materials in the construction of HS2 is no compensation for the countryside and environmental loss that we have experienced.

“The prefabricated approach of constructing materials off site to minimise local disruption is welcome.

“Perhaps this decision reflects an underestimate of the impact this project has had so far on our local community.

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“Its construction will however continue to disrupt our local community and will do for some time to come.

“Meanwhile we still wait for the promised rail link to Milton Keynes and Oxford, which will be of much greater benefit to local people and businesses.”

Jennifer Lennon, HS2 Ltd’s Senior Project Manager said: “HS2 will offer zero-carbon journeys from day one, but we’re also working hard to reduce the amount of carbon used in construction.

“That’s why we’re applying the latest approaches from across Europe to help us cut the amount of embedded carbon in our major structures and speed up construction.”

The environmental impacts of HS2 have been witnessed across Buckinghamshire, from a sinkhole caused by the boring of a tunnel to trees dying after they were planted to replace trees that were removed.

To mitigate the environmental impacts of construction, HS2 has said it is creating a ‘green corridor’ of new woodlands, ponds, grasslands and meadows alongside sections of the 250-mile rail network.