High Speed 2 overview
Here you will find regular updates and information on HS2 - a high-speed rail line from London to Birmingham - what it means for Aylesbury Vale and what we’re doing in response.
The current situation
On Friday 15 March 2013, the High Court delivered its long-awaited judgment on the five judicial review challenges to the £33 billion HS2 project that were heard during a hearing in December 2012.
The claims were brought by four protest groups, including members of the 51m alliance, campaign group HS2 Action Alliance (HS2AA), which represents more than 70 affiliated groups and residents' associations, and Aylesbury Park Golf Club.
The challenge by the HS2 Action Alliance to the lawfulness of the consultation on the discretionary compensation scheme was the only successful claim. The other nine challenges identified in the five separate cases were not upheld. However, Mr Justice Ouseley did give permission for the local authorities to appeal on two grounds.
AVDC, along with other councils involved in the judicial review, has decided to appeal on a number of the grounds heard in December 2012. The date for the hearing in the Royal Courts of Justice is 10 June and could take up to four days. The councils’ appeal will be heard alongside that of the HS2 Action Alliance and Heathrow Hub.
Property and compensation consultations
The Judicial Review into HS2 has decided that plans to compensate 300,000 homeowners over the rail scheme were unlawful and the goverment must now re-run the consultation process. Objectors had said 170,000 families will be unable to sell blighted homes during the project’s first stage from 2017 to 2026. Another 130,000 will be hit in the second phase due to end in 2033. It was also argued that consultation exercise that had been carried out lacked enough detail to be fair. Mr Justice Ouseley agreed. He said: “The consultation in respect of blight and compensation was all in all so unfair as to be unlawful.”
The council's responses to these consultations can be found by clicking on the consultations tab on this page.
The environmental impact
To comply with European legislation, HS2 Ltd is undertaking a full environmental impact assessment of its proposals to identify likely significant environmental effects and the need for mitigation measures.
The draft Environmental Statement (ES) has now been published for consultation. This means there is an opportunity to respond to the way HS2 Ltd carries out the assessment and the mitigation measures it proposes to reduce the project’s impact. This is an important opportunity for those affected to raise concerns and make suggestions.
For more information about this consultation, click on the consultations tab on this page.
Buckinghamshire’s Mitigation Blueprint for HS2
The Blueprint for HS2 is the mitigation plan for HS2 through Buckinghamshire. This has been produced by Buckinghamshire County Council in conjunction with the four district councils – Aylesbury Vale, Chiltern District, South Bucks District and Wycombe District.
The Blueprint has been endorsed by The Chilterns Conservation Board, National Trust, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trusts, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership, Buckinghamshire Business First and the National Farmers Union.
More information can be found by clicking on the 'Buckinghamshire's Mitigation Blueprint for HS2' tab on this page.
51m responds to the Department for Transport’s announcement on the HS2 northern route
AVDC is a member of the of 51m alliance actively challenging the HS2 scheme through a national campaign.
We agree with the Prime Minister that what this country needs is investment and growth in our infrastructure but we need it now, not in 2033. Behind the ‘spin’ the reality is that the business case for HS2 has collapsed, the capacity argument has been exposed in the High Court and the economic benefits are not supported by any serious economists. HS2 will cost taxpayers an eye watering £33 billion, equivalent to the country’s entire defence budget, and yet has been shown conclusively to be poor value for money.
Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire County Council and Chairman of the 51m Alliance of 18 local authorities opposed to HS2 said: “There are far better, quicker and cheaper ways of upgrading our existing rail network to provide the capacity needed. These would free up capital to invest in regional road and rail infrastructure projects that people actually need and use around the whole country. This would bring growth and jobs now when they are needed.
“A major concern that we have is that many towns and cities will be shocked to discover that they will actually receive a poorer train service if HS2 is built. Stations such as Toton Sidings and Meadowhall are far from city centres. West Coast Main Line and Midland Main Line services to many existing stations are certain to be reduced. At the same time HS2 will blight the lives, property and businesses of tens of thousands of people. Houses will be unsaleable and jobs lost across the Midlands and elsewhere. Only those directly on the route will receive compensation. Those nearby will have to wait until 2034 at the earliest to see if they get anything.”
The government is pressing ahead with a new high speed rail route that would initially link London to Birmingham (phase 1) and subsequently extend to Manchester and Leeds (phase 2). Ultimately it could extend to Scotland. The government has decided that the linkage to Heathrow Airport will be looked at as part of phase 2.
The route would come up from Amersham, crossing the southern edge of Wendover, Stoke Mandeville and Aylesbury, then running east of Waddesdon before picking up the path of the disused railway line past Quainton, Calvert and proceeding up to the edge of Brackley.
Key features of the high speed rail link
•A new dedicated track linking London to Birmingham with no intermediary stops aimed at reducing journey times by approximately 30 minutes
•Up to 14 trains an hour running at speeds of up to 225mph
•Trains up to 400 metres long and carrying up to 1100 people per train
•Some trains will be maintenance vehicles
•Trains to be powered by electric overhead cables
•Tracks that have gentle gradients requiring construction of embankments, cuttings, tunnels and viaducts
How to find out more
As well as the AVDC website, a wide range of reports and technical material is available on the Department for Transport's website.
Material and reports from the various HS2 summits organised for Bucks communities can also be downloaded from the links below.
If you have any enquiries about this scheme, please contact the Department for Transport on 0300 330 3000.
File size / Download time
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HS2 Briefing Note Oct 2011
56Kbps Modem: 2 Minutes 23 Seconds
Broadband : Less than 1 Minute
First HS2 Summit Report June 2010
56Kbps Modem: 7 Minutes
Broadband : Less than 1 Minute
Environmental summit October 2010
Environmental summit October 2010
56Kbps Modem: 30 Minutes
Broadband : 3 Minutes 20 Seconds