Council begins petitioning over HS2

HS2 artist's impression
HS2 artist's impression

Warwickshire campaigners are being heard in Parliament this week to make the case for mitigation and community benefit under ongoing HS2 plans.

The county council began presenting its petition to the HS2 select committee today (Monday) in a hearing expected to run over three days.

The council, represented by Nathalie Lieven QC, hopes to secure a better deal and minimise the impact on communities under current proposals for the high speed rail line between London and Birmingham.

The 65-page petition requests better protection and assurances for all areas in the county which will be affected by the railway including large parts of Kenilworth, Burton Green and Cubbington.

Cllr Bob Stevens, county cabinet member for HS2, said: “We are disappointed that we have not been able to reach agreement and that HS2 Ltd has not been able to offer us acceptable solutions for the many issues being caused by the railway in Warwickshire.

“We are left with only one option - to present our case to the select committee and seek a better deal for our communities.

“The reason we are heading to Parliament is to seek a democratic solution to the injustices of the scheme on our communities.

“We have made a series of reasonable and pragmatic requests over the past few years on behalf of our residents and remain optimistic that the committee will see the sense behind our concerns and act accordingly.”

The select committee has the authority to recommend amendments to the HS2 hybrid bill and to require changes to the scheme from HS2 Ltd.

The HS2 Hybrid Bill - which passed its Second Reading in the House of Commons in April - is the legislation which will allow the line to be built.

According to the current timetable, construction work is scheduled to start on the line in 2017 and the first trains from London to Birmingham will run in 2026.

Links to the county council’s petition documents can be found at HS2