Buckingham and Winslow community boards to quiz East West Rail Minister at public meeting tonight, Tuesday

Members of the public can join meeting where members of the East West Rail and HS2 Joint Working Group put questions to Chris Heaton-Harris

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 12:13 pm

Chris Heaton-Harris MP, Minister of State for the Department of Transport with responsibility for the East West rail project, will take centre stage at a meeting of a joint Community Board working group tonight, Tuesday, June 15.

The East West Rail and HS2 Joint Working Group comprises members of Buckingham & Villages, Haddenham & Waddesdon and Winslow & Villages Community Boards. The areas covered by these boards are all directly affected by the East West Rail and/or HS2 programmes.

Similar to the attendance of Andrew Stevenson MP at a previous meeting of the group, where he faced questions on the High Speed 2 (HS2) project, at tonight's meeting Mr Heaton-Harris will be asked a number of questions on the East West Rail programme in a half-hour slot at the beginning of the meeting.

Chris Heaton-Harris MP, Minister of State for the Department of Transport with responsibility for the East West rail project
Chris Heaton-Harris MP, Minister of State for the Department of Transport with responsibility for the East West rail project

Members of the working group were invited to submit questions for the minister in advance, with four then selected to be asked. Topics to be addressed include:

Will a direct rail link to Aylesbury be included in the final EWR blueprint, as was previously indicated?

What cash is going to be made available to make up for the continued disruption to local residents and businesses and the negative impact on the local environment?

Are plans in place to continue with improvements towards engagement and interaction with local communities and organisations as the project continues?

Will HS2 and EWR work together to minimise the ongoing disruption to residents in Quainton and can clarification be given on when the much-needed bridge repairs can take place?

The joint working group meets monthly and comprises 30 members including Buckinghamshire Council members, residents and parish councillors. The meetings are also attended by Buckingham MP Greg Smith and representatives from Thames Valley Police and Buckinghamshire Council’s programme team.

Deputy Cabinet Member for Transport (HS2/EWR), Peter Martin, said: “This is another fantastic example of how our Community Boards are able to act as the voice of local residents and to raise their concerns directly with policy and decision makers at the highest level.

"As with HS2, many of our local residents are worried about the impact of the work going on in their community as these projects are implemented.

"Through us, they are able to get their voices heard and some of their queries answered.”

The virtual meeting starts at 6pm tonight, Tuesday, June 15, and is open for anyone to attend. Click here in advance of the meeting to join via Microsoft Teams.​