High-speed rail plan ‘arrogant’

Thursday, 9th September 2010

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Published: 09 September, 2010
by JOSIE HINTON

LIB Dem London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon has accused HS2 of displaying a “worrying degree of arrogance” over its lack of consultation with residents. 

Ms Pidgeon, vice chairwoman of the Assembly’s transport committee, outlined her concerns about the company – set up by the government to develop a high-speed link between London and Birmingham – during a visit to Primrose Hill on Friday.

She said there were “basic questions” that HS2 has failed to answer.

“We want to know why HS2 hasn’t communicated its intentions and I am shocked by how far this project has progressed with very little dialogue,” Ms Pidgeon told the New Journal.

“There are other options and we have not been given any information about why this route was selected. We want to be able to look at the options for the route and weigh up the pros and cons. 

“Not only have residents not been contacted, but as the vice chair of the transport committee I have been given no information from HS2 – that is just completely unheard of for a project of this scale. It shows a worrying degree of arrogance.” 

Ms Pidgeon was visiting Primrose Hill to meet with Lib Dem councillor Chris Naylor and the Primrose Hill HS2 reference group to hear their concerns over the project.

Following the meeting, she echoed their fears over the depth of the tunnel and the exclusion of Primrose Hill residents from the government’s compensation scheme.

Ms Pidgeon added that she would be writing to junior transport minister Norman Baker to discuss her concerns.

A final decision on whether the link will be built is expected following a public consultation next year, but Transport Secretary Phil Hammond has publicly confirmed his commitment to the scheme.

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