Anger as HS2 ends forums

MHBG-30-09-10 HS2 Protest'Pictured - Protesters
MHBG-30-09-10 HS2 Protest'Pictured - Protesters

Anti-HS2 campaigners from Mixbury and surrounding villages have expressed anger over the ending of forum talks with communities along the proposed route.

Following a meeting on Monday night with HS2 representative Martin Wells, members of the VoxOpp (Villages of Oxfordshire Opposing HS2) sent a letter of protest to north Oxfordshire MP Sir Tony Baldry.

The letter said members felt HS2, “had no intention, from the outset, of entering into a meaningful dialogue at these forums.”

VoxOpp also said Mr Wells stated HS2 would no longer hold community forum meetings, but would move to a ‘petition management mode’ in which it would listen to concerns but not comment.

“The implication being that they want to know what arguments they will have to 
rebut at the petition stage of the bill,” the letter added.

HS2 spokesman Lisa Levy said: “We have learned lessons from the forums and recognise that there is room for improvement. There is a need now to reach a much wider audience with a more flexible programme designed to help more people understand the project.”