Belsize Liberal Democrats

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High Speed 2 Rail Link

by tomsimon on 28 April, 2010

Many local residents in the area around King Henry’s Rd are concerned about the High Speed 2 (HS2) proposal for a fast rail link from Euston to the Midlands and North of England, which involves tunnelling under homes in our area. 

While all parties support HS2 in principle, the Liberal Democrat Transport Shadow Norman Baker has made it clear he is not committed to the detail of the route. We believe that High Speed rail will make a significant contribution to getting people out of their cars and cutting domestic air travel, but we are concerned at the real lack of information about the plans and in particular the government’s failure to consult proactively with local people.

 

 

Many people have also told us how concerned they are about the lack of information from High Speed 2 and the looming consultation deadline of 20th May for the Exceptional Hardship scheme.

The Exceptional Hardship Scheme is a scheme designed to compensate homeowners who wish to sell their property between June this year and until the consultation on the HS2 route (a consultation which will begin this Autumn) is complete. Once the route is confirmed the statutory compensation scheme will come into force and replace the Exceptional Hardship Scheme. 

We are astonished that High Speed 2 appears to be using the cover of the election to avoid having to speak to residents. We are fighting to get the consultation deadline pushed back.

The Lib Dem Leader of Camden Council Keith Moffitt has written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Lord Adonis, protesting about this deadline and asking for it to be extended. You can see the full text of the letter and get other up to date information by checking our Camden Town & Primrose Hill website for more up to date information: tiny.cc/ctphlibdems.

Two key issues we would encourage you to query if you are responding to the consultation are:

  •  Why the proposal specifically excludes properties over the proposed tunnels and
  • What would happen to any properties bought up by the government, in order to keep them occupied and avoid neglect and squatting?

We are anxious that this issue should not become a political football. We are making plans for a cross-party meeting to be set up once the election is over – which will mean that as the election “Purdah” rules will no longer apply and planning experts from Camden Council and representatives of High Speed 2 itself will be able to attend and give us advice.

If you are online you can check tiny.cc/ctphlibdems for the latest developments.

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