Stop HS2 campaigners seek to encourage public response on consultation

Published on: Wednesday, 7th August 2019

The Stop HS2 campaign group has issued a public statement in a bid to encourage a public response to the current HS2 consultation on 11 proposed HS2b refinements.

The statement said that whilst the document proposed the refinements, there was also an equal importance to what they described as a lack of refinement proposed for a 23m high viaduct proposal for the Trent Valley spanning Long Eaton, the Erewash Valley, Sandiacre, Stapleford and Stanton Gate.

Vaughan Morris from Stop HS2 Erewash stated that the 2015 Department for Transport set £56bn funding envelope had been superseded by what it called a £64bn "cost estimate" and accused the Dft and HS2 Ltd of concealing it for four years, claiming that the latest Chair of HS2 Limited had reported that HS2 costs could be up to £86bn.

Mr. Morris suggested that the final cost of the HS2 project was likely to be £200bn by 2033, and that it would result in a benefit cost ratio of 44p only for each £1 of public money invested.

On 6th June, HS2 Ltd published consulation report and designs for 11 proposed refinements to their previous HS2 proposals, releasing two summaries as follows:

They released two latest summaries as follows:

* HS2 Phase 2b working draft Environmental Statement consultation summary
* HS2 Phase 2b working draft Environmental Statement EQIA consultation summary

* The Secretary of State for Transport is also consulting on 11 proposed design refinements to the HS2 Phase 2b route.

Paper copies of the above documents can be requested by calling 08081 434 4334.  Responses to the 11 consultations have to be received by 6th September 2019.

The Stop HS2 campaign issued the following response to those documents.

HS2 Ltd's "national endeavour" with the "nobody knows" and "it will cost what it takes" budgeting attitude, known as HS2, continues to shock and surprise us with their unpredictable design changes that badly affect our towns, villages, businesses, communities and surrounding countryside.

One of the latest proposed refinements avoids the re-building of 1.3 miles of the smart M1 passing through Trowell, by increasing the bend of the HS2 line, but this would require demolition of about 20 houses & 2 of the largest businesses in Trowell village. None of the 11 proposed design refinements include any changes to the 23m high viaduct that is proposed to be built through the centre of Long Eaton, requiring demolition of 183 houses and 70 other buildings as well as the loss or re-location of over 1000 real local jobs.

A decision on the future of HS2 is expected in December 2019 after a further delay to the building go-ahead caused by Brexit and HS2 Ltd's inability to pass 3 capability tests set by Government. A contractual "Notice to Proceed" is required by HS2 Ltd to allow the start of actual building of HS2 phase 1 beyond simple enabling works. Phase 2b still needs Royal Assent from Parliament. The route of HS2b proposed for Trowell now includes a deep cutting instead of a viaduct, with just as much impact caused to residents, especially those who would lose their homes and jobs. Stop HS2 Erewash offers our full support to Stop HS2 Trowell and all Trowell residents & businesses whether directly or indirectly affected.

We strongly recommend that people respond to this consultation, by objecting to the proposed Trowell design refinement, in order to protect the houses and valued businesses within the village of Trowell.

If the HS2 project is not scrapped in the spending review in December 2019, we recommend that a fully costed underground re-alignment is investigated for the line from North of Kegworth to Trowell Services and further North where cost effective.

Stop HS2 Erewash continue to fully oppose the HS2 project which is now expected to cost at least £200 billion.

The cost of cancelling HS2 would be in the region of £2.5 billion if cancelled this year. Now is the time! No detailed cost estimates have been published by HS2 Ltd for any alternative underground options for the route through this densely populated conurbation.

By using HS2 Ltd's own estimating rates we expect that tunnels under the Trent and Erewash valleys would result in major savings in time and money – 6 years & £3.5 billion – easily justifying the tunnelling alternative. We remain firmly against HS2 and have been shocked by how the DfT-set 2015 cost estimate has been concealed until recently by DfT & HS2 Ltd. The repeated £56 billions “envelope” has been misleading the public for 4 years.

The realistic cost estimate for HS2 is at least £200 billions with inflation allowed to 2033. Unfortunately people of Long Eaton and Erewash valley have not been offered any design refinements to the proposed 23m high viaduct.

There has not been any focussed consultation opportunity, library displays of latest documents, or any local or central government support other than the Broxtowe MP stating in parliament that "Long Eaton needs a tunnel".

July 2019 reviews by Transport-Watch UK have quoted the benefit cost ratio for HS2 to be a dismal 0.44 (every pound invested would become 44p) https://tinyurl.com/y5nk39tw Erewash BC's plans to free up the existing low level line to improve the future layout & productivity of Long Eaton can progress without HS2.

Please respond to this consultation otherwise HS2 Ltd & DfT will presume silence infers approval of the 23m high viaduct smashing through the Trent valley, Long Eaton, Sandiacre, Stapleford, Stanton Gate, Trowell & the Erewash valley. We can't rely on support coming from our local councils or MP.

We must respond to this consultation - react to their proposals and non-proposals! Copy in our MP and council leaders. This could be our last opportunity. If MP's only hear from HS2 supporters they will maintain HS2 support despite public opinions collected in our own public survey and that of ITV'S recent YouGov survey showing that only 8% of Midlanders are strong supporters of HS2. Responses to the 11 consultations have be received by 6th September 2019

Email responses to – designrefinement2b@ipsos-mori.com - copy in – maggie.throup.mp@parliament.uk   barry.lewis@derbyshire.gov.uk   carol.hart@erewash.gov.uk
You can respond to this consultation in the following ways:
* Online: You can respond to the consultation at
https://ipsos.uk/designrefinement2b   Email: You can email your response to   designrefinement2b@ipsos-mori.com

* Post: You can post your response using FREEPOST HS2 PHASE 2B DESIGN REFINEMENT.  Please note that you do not need include any more information on the envelope than the full FREEPOST address on a single line. No stamp is required.

APPENDIX TO STOP HS2 EREWASH STATEMENT Extract from House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, Number CBP 8601, 20 June 2019, High Speed 2: the business case, costs and spending Refer to pages 42 & 43, Item 6.2 for “How much has been spent?”
This Briefing Paper gives MP's an explanation at last about how much has been spent already on HS2 - £4.3 billion.  Note that some spending on purchase costs of land and buildings is retrievable (£1.8 billion).  Selling off land and property if the project was scrapped would mean the project will have cost £2.5 billion. (Andrea Leadsom's stated £12 billion is the projected spend to 2020/21).

A £56 billion 2015 "funding envelope" has been publicised by DfT & HS2 Ltd for 4 years, but the actual 2015 cost estimate set by DfT was £64.9 billion!  Calculations for previous and future cost inflation allowances are available on request.

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