A PUSH for those affected by the proposed HS2 route to have their say continues to strengthen as the consultation deadline approaches.
Members of the north Oxfordshire protest group VoxOpp are urging residents to start work on their public consultation responses before the July 29 deadline while in Brackley last weekend, the HS2 roadshow rolled into town.
VoxOpp – founded by residents of villages along the proposed route including Mixbury, Finmere and Newton Purcell – has produced an on-line kit to help people voice their concerns.
The kit, available from the website www.voxopp.org.uk, includes an official HS2 response form and a list of possible responses compiled by the HS2 Action Alliance (HS2AA).
VoxOpp member Jeremy Mortimer said: “Don’t delay, start working on your response now – it can take a while to get your views clear and onto paper.”
VoxOpp submitted written evidence to the Transport Select Committee’s ongoing inquiry into high-speed rail in mid-May, and has since had confirmation the evidence has been accepted.
The Transport Committee announced it would undertake an inquiry into the strategic case for High Speed Rail in March, focusing on the principal arguments for and against high-speed rail.
VoxOpp’s arguments include the high cost and limited coverage of HS2, the uncertain profitability, and the existence of alternative solutions.
In its summary, the group said: “Priorities for future acceptable levels of fares, journey time, reliability, frequency, comfort, environmental effects and other criteria should have been established for the whole system. Instead, Government has focused on a very costly ultra high speed train with limited access.”
The inquiry will not examine the proposed HS2 route, or how the route could affect individual landowners, businesses and residents, but will examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department for Transport and its associated public bodies.
Meanwhile around 1,000 people attended the two day HS2 consultation roadshow in Brackley last week.
Leisure centre visitors were greeted by a small band of HS2 protestors, including Turweston resident Janet Jackson, Mrs Jackson said everyone in the country will be contributing financially towards the scheme and questioned why roadshows were not being held in other parts of the country. She added: “Cameron’s dismissal on the opposition is based on the NIMBY argument. But of course that will be the impression if the roadshows only take place along the proposed route.
South Northants MP Andrea Leadsom who was at the roadshow and backed the opposition saying the business case did not stake up.
Alison Munro, chief executive of HS2 Ltd said she was pleased with the turn out and said people were happy to be able to speak to the experts who had pulled together evidence of the consultation.