Amersham Newsletter - 7-Oct-2017


With summer behind us, it’s time to review recent campaign activities and prepare for what lies ahead.   

First things first … 

Sign Now – New Petition to Scrap HS2

To tie in with the Labour Party Conference, Stop HS2 launched a new online parliamentary petition which calls for the cancellation of HS2 and the repeal of the High Speed Rail Acts.  The petition laments the fact that independent analysis of the case for HS2 has been ignored, the rising costs and hollow justifications, along with the fact it is being pushed at a time of continued austerity and cuts to essential services.   The petition has already attracted 15,595 signatures.   Do please take a moment to sign it online – and send the link to all like-minded family and friends around the country.

Great Campaign at the Labour Party Conference

Our HS2 AAG helped to fund high-impact Stop HS2 activities at the Labour Party Conference. Campaigners erected a large banner across the front of the conference building, rebranding the Labour slogan ‘For the many not the few’ as ‘’HS2ForTheFew’.  Dressed as ticket inspectors, campaigners also gave out replicated rail tickets with the class bracket stating “privileged few”, the route labelled “one way to disaster”, the ticket type referred to as “super excess vanity project” and the method of payment “increased cuts to essential services”. to provide an excellent source of information on all nationwide campaign activities. is the place to go for breaking news on HS2, 24/7.

Drop-in Information Day

On 29th June, the HS2 AAG met with HS2 Ltd urging the need for a public drop-in event to clarify the ‘what, when and how’ of present and future construction activities in our area.  More than three months down the line, we still await progress on this!  We will continue to keep up the pressure with yet another member of the HS2 team – our newly appointed Local Engagement Manager.   Thank you to everyone who asked for further details back in July, when we had a presence at the Amersham Action Group’s consultation day.  We haven’t forgotten you!       

HS2 Watch

Jim Conboy, of our HS2AAG, has been working with the Chiltern Society and Chesham Society to set up HS2 Watch.  Its purpose is to ensure that HS2 complies with the undertakings and assurances given during the passage of the Hybrid Bill and to assist any local residents affected by the construction process.  By now, everyone will have noticed that this is already underway.  To give just a couple of examples: Whielden Street residents have been notified that ground investigation surveys and preparatory works “will be carried out in early October” with some traffic management measures and work taking place 8am – 6pm, Mondays – Fridays, plus an hour either side for start up and shut down.     

Well Fancy That! Misbourne Valley Ground Investigation

Concerns raised with the Environment Agency by residents of Little Missenden have revealed some “critical information”.  The EA reports that a review of preliminary ground investigations of the Misbourne Valley, commissioned from consultants by HS2 Ltd, has shown that “the chalk along the Misbourne is very heavily faulted and fractured.  The cross-sections produced have identified numerous features that have not been previously picked up by the BGS or by historic investigations.  This information is very important not only for the construction of the HS2 route but also for the wider understanding of the chalk aquifer and its interaction with the Misbourne. Groundwater monitoring has confirmed the presence of a layered system, with groundwater perched at various levels throughout the chalk.  This critical information has highlighted to HS2 Ltd the need for very careful design throughout the Misbourne valley. The report has also highlighted the need for additional detailed investigation around the vent shafts and river crossings; this will be essential ahead of the detailed design of the vent shafts and final choice of tunnel boring machines used. The method of construction for the vent shafts, whilst not confirmed, is anticipated to be carried out using diaphragm wall techniques. This will limit the amount of dewatering required during construction and operation.” The response from the EA continues: “Whilst we are not at the stage where the Environment Agency will be assessing permit applications for the dewatering and discharge activities associated with the vent shafts yet, experience of the permitting process with HS2 Ltd and their contractors to date has been positive. To this end, I am confident that all aspects of environmental protection, including the protection of fish, will be considered prior to the decision on where to discharge abstracted water.”  This could be interesting - watch this page.

Politician Behind California High Speed Rail Now Says It's 'Almost a Crime' - it’s all here:

And finally – from our own Institute of Economic Affairs - Five Reasons to Scrap HS2: 

Thank you - we’ll keep in touch!
HS2 Amersham Action Group