The Amersham Society

HS2 and the election

 

We have been informed that HS2AA have been writing to various opinion formers to try and influence their manifestos. This is the letter:-
 
Dear ---,

The UK doesn’t need HS2

 

 

Now is the time to drop HS2 from political commitments.
Free from the EU bureaucrats’ love of a European rail transport network, and needing to focus on what would actually make the UK more competitive, it is time for political parties to rethink HS2.
 
HS2 is yesterday’s solution to transport needs and would be obsolete before it’s built:
·         Self-driving cars will revolutionise transport – giving shorter journey times – increasing the capacity of roads – and eliminating the advantages of rail

·         The business case for HS2 (founded on valuing journey time savings to the 2090’s) assumes a high value to reductions in business travel times but:

o   Involves pre-internet thinking, as business travel has actually reduced (people make fewer business trips and travel less far on business than they did 10 years ago)

o   Ignores the fact that people can work on trains – and will be able to work in self-driving cars!

HS2 has been sold on a false prospectus:
·         Far from benefiting the north, it will increase the grip of London on the economy, as it becomes practicable to save money by closing northern offices to the advantage of London ones (as London can more readily serve the whole country)

·         Britain has no high speed rail industry, and so HS2 will largely create foreign not UK jobs

·         The business case for HS2 assumes high train frequencies and high speeds that are incompatible with existing technology (with construction planned to start this year!)

·         HS2 does not address the most pressing issue on our railways: the 173,000 passengers that stand on commuter trains into major cities during the three hour peak each weekday morning

·         Far from catching up with the rest of the world, Britain has long had fast frequent inter-city rail services, and the distances between major cities are too small for high speed rail to be needed

Britain can’t afford to waste the tens of billions of £s that HS2 will cost:
·         Supporters claim that billions have already been spent and it is too late to turn back – but not an inch of track has been laid, with the money spent on consultants – and there is no excuse for throwing good money after bad

·         BREXIT is a time for improving Britain’s competitiveness – not spending it on white elephants!

·         With its real cost likely to top £100bn (according to some commentators), twice the official £56bn, HS2 is unaffordable

·         Proceeding with HS2 uses up funds far better spent on improving the NHS, schools, and broadband speeds.

The right decision for your manifesto is clear: cancel HS2.
 
Yours sincerely,
Hilary Wharf,

Director HS2AA

 

HS2 Update 27 January 2017

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

http://www.amershamsociety.org/index.php/campaigns/hs2-and-links).


HS2 Hybrid Bill and Royal Assent

You will probably be aware that the Promoter has now responded to the House of Lords Report. You can read it at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/583784/government-response-to-the-select-committee_s-special-report-web-version.pdf.
The Third Reading of the Bill is scheduled for 31 January 2017. It is then expected that the Bill for Phase 1 will become law and probably receive Royal Assent in the week commencing 6 February 2017 although this is dependent on the Parliamentary timetable.

New Chief Executive for HS2 Ltd
HS2 Ltd has appointed a new Chief Executive called Mark Thurston. Mr Thurston has worked for CH2M, the company which is HS2 Ltd's Phase 1 Engineering Delivery Partner, since 2008. You can read more at https://www.ch2m.com/newsroom/news/ch2m-led-jv-announced-as-HS2-phase-one-engineering-delivery-partner.
HS2 Ltd Newsletter
HS2 Ltd's new engagement team recently published a community update, which includes some useful contacts. You can read it at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hs2-phase-one-community-update-newsletters.

Read more...

HS2 Update 14 January 2017

 

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 http://www.amershamsociety.org/index.php/campaigns/hs2-and-links).

 


 

House of Lords Select Committee

The Select Committee has now published their report which you can read at http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/lords-select/high-speed-rail-london-west-midlands-bill-select-committee-lords/news-parliament-2015/hs2-bill-committee-publishes-report/. It could be the end of January or February before the Bill finally achieves royal assent, subject to the Parliamentary process and third reading. Some amendments to the Bill have been proposed by various Peers and these were debated on 10 and 12 January 2017 in Grand Committee. You can see all the proposed amendments at http://lordsamendments.parliament.uk/?Session=2016-2017&Id=1313. It should be noted that no votes are allowed in a Grand Committee, and in turn that means that if a Peer objects to any amendment (including a government amendment) it should be withdrawn, to enable the House to decide the matter at the next stage – ie report stage.

It is expected that the Secretary of State and HS2 Ltd will respond to the Select Committee report next week.

 

Read more...

Chiltern District Council's Emerging Local Plan

Did you know that

•  Chiltern District Council must produce a Local Plan by early 2017 or the Government will step in and impose one?

•  Chiltern DC is working with South Bucks DC to produce one?

•  They estimate that there will be a need for 14 700 new dwellings in the area by 2036?

•  They have been reviewing green belt sites to see whether they could be released for housing?

•  The deadline for responses is 5.0 pm, 12th December?

 

See http://www.chiltern.gov.uk/planning/localplan2014-2036.The Options they are considering include allowing building to take place on two areas of green belt around Old Amersham:

•  parts of the large field to the east of the whole length of Whielden Street (part of the green ring around the Conservation Area);

•  parts of the fields to the south of London Road, between Gore Hill and Stanley Hill, including next to the historic Bury Farm.

 

The Amersham Society is producing a response.

 

 

The Society has organised an open meeting on Wednesday 7 December 2016 at the King's Chapel, King's Arms Hotel, High Street, Old Amersham.

 

All are welcome at this meeting to learn more about the Council's proposals and to review and improve the Amersham Society's response about preserving Amersham's unique heritage and environment. Contribute your own thoughts and learn what you might usefully say in your own personal response.

 

Coffee/tea and biscuits will be served from 7.30pm, with the meeting starting at 8.0 pm. Please bring your friends and neighbours, no booking is necessary - just turn up. The cost of entrance will be £2 for members and £3 for non-members.

 

HS2 Update 13 December 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 http://www.amershamsociety.org/index.php/campaigns/hs2-and-links).


House of Lords Select Committee

 

The Select Committee has now finished its deliberations and their report should follow shortly; we understand this may be published on 12 December 2016. This will then be considered by the Lords on 9 January 2017 before any further amendments to the Bill are proposed. It could be January or February before the Bill finally gets royal assent, subject to the Parliamentary process. Jim Conboy has kindly posted around half of the local documents/evidence so far produced for the House of Lords. He also has presentations from The Lee and Little Missenden Parish Councils. If you send your presentations to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like them posted at http://www.hs2amersham.org.uk/Resources/ES/HoL/Index.htm. This is a useful resource and Jim does not mind if you are outside of the Chilterns.

Read more...

HS2 Update 19 November 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 http://www.amershamsociety.org/index.php/campaigns/hs2-and-links).

 

 


 

House of Lords Select Committee

The latest programme of appearances from 15 November to 23 November is at http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/lords-select/high-speed-rail-london-west-midlands-bill-select-committee-lords/news-parliament-2015/committee-programme-15-23-nov/.

 

Review of petitioning procedures on Hybrid Bills in the House of Lords: views sought
In May and June this year, the first stage of the consultation on the review of the petitioning procedures on Hybrid Bills took place. Parliament is now inviting further submissions, as the process of petitioning before the Lords Select Committee on the HS2 Phase One Bill draws to a close. You can see details of how to submit your comments your comments here.


Appointment of Enabling Works Contracts
The £900m Enabling Works Contracts covering the whole of Phase One, from London to Birmingham and the connection to the West Coast Mainline at Handsacre have been awarded, with work due to begin in the spring 2017.

 

The following joint ventures will be appointed:

- Area South - CS JV (Costain Group Plc, Skanska Construction UK Limited)

- Area Central (Buckinghamshire) – Fusion JV (Morgan Sindall plc, BAM Nuttall Limited, Ferrovial Agroman (UK) Limited)

- Area North - LM JV (Laing O'Rourke Construction Limited, J. Murphy & Sons Limited)

 

  • As well as archaeology, site clearance and establishing site compounds, the contractors will also deliver a range of activities including utility diversions, ecology surveys, demolition, ground remediation, watercourse activities, highways realignments, monitoring and instrumentation, structural reinforcements and drainage work.

Read more...

Latest Events

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Street cleaning - High Street, north side (odd numbers)
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Amersham Museum re-opens
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Amersham Museum
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Amersham Museum
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Amersham Town walk

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