HS2 criticised over public consultation
The way that HS2 communicates with affected residents has '˜fundamental problems' according to MPs.
The report, which is the result of a complaint, was compiled by MPs on the Public Administration and constitutional Affairs Committee.
It was released in the week that the latest stage of the HS2 Hybrid Bill was voted through by MPs.
The committee found that public consultations about the rail scheme were nothing more than a ‘box ticking exercise’ by HS2, and that the information made available was too generic.
It states that ‘In future members of the public dealing with HS2 Ltd should never have to go through the same experiences as those whose homes and communities were affected by Phase One’.
Chairman of the committee, Bernard Jenkin MP, said: “There is still a culture of defensive communication and misinformation within this public body and that is not acceptable.
“Unless those responsible for delivering HS2 understand that first and foremost they serve the public, they will continue to be criticised for having complete disregard for the people, some of them vulnerable, who are impacted by this large-scale infrastructure project.
“We expect HS2 Ltd to prioritise its response to Ian Bynoe’s forthcoming recommendations on communication and engagement and on complaint handling. This is a matter of primary importance for HS2 Ltd and must be treated as such.”
Stop HS2 campaign manager Joe Rukin said: “Yet again, HS2 Ltd have been found wanting, but MPs have no problem voting for this vanity project. The whole case for HS2 has been based on misinformation, refusing to release any information that shows it in a bad light, and treating the public with a complete disregard. This is not only the culture of HS2 Ltd, but the culture of the Government proposing it and the MPs willing to support it.”