Jun 18 2012 By Keri Brennan
HS2 must think we’re really stupid. They must also think they have a god given right to behave how they like.
Now how would that happen? The only organisations that behave like that are the ones with a weak senior leadership team with no moral compass.
So this week there were two community forums for Hillingdon borough issues. Hot topics at these
were Heathrow spurs.
A spur will mean massive construction and disruption and a high speed track four tracks wide, where some trains on the main HS2 route diverge and loop to or from Heathrow. The route from the spurs to Heathrow will cost £7billion.
At the Ruislip and
Ickenham one. HS2 announced a spur to Heathrow will go from Ickenham
into a tunnel. When pressed by Lottie Jones, of Ruislip Against HS2, as
to where the other end of this spur would be, there was waffle about
only knowing one section of the route and even a mention of
Warwickshire was made!!
When pushed by concerned community representatives, they said: 'What does it matter where it goes?”
At the same time, all of three or so miles away a different forum, relevant to and including Hillingdon, was told about a spur right near Chalfont St Peter, but no mention was made of a spur at Ickenham.
So will these link together? Is it 'either/or'? Are there other spurs?
The Ruislip group was told that there was now definitely no spur at Northolt. Does that mean Ealing residents can now have a tunnel, because their reason for not having a tunnel before was the need to be above ground in order to link to a spur.
So many questions and
so few answers.
Ickenham is left in an unbearable Catch 22. No tunnel because of the spurs and no definite answers on the spurs until sometime in 2013.
The one thing HS2 were definite on - and insisted went in the minutes (funny because they don’t record proper minutes of anything anyone else says) - was their response to the accusation that the spurs are being snuck in by stealth. Apparently that was unacceptable to their sensitive natures.
But they are not doing anything by stealth. Well that’s OK then.
Plonking a map on a table with no understanding of its implications to a local community at a 'community forum'; failing to understand that a community is not divided by lines they draw on a map and people at both forums might actually communicate and have shared interests, suggest to me something that probably isn’t stealth.
Probably stupidity, ignorance, callousness, disregard, carelessness – certainly not stealth, so we’ll let them have that one point.
Keri Brennan is chairwoman of Ruislip Against HS2