Council lodges objection to HS2 route plans

Ealing Council has lodged a holding objection to the initial route plans for High Speed 2 (HS2) because of the disruption that could be caused at borough level.

Map of proposed HS2 route

The proposed high-speed railway would dissect the north of the borough on its route between London, the Midlands and the North of England. Construction on HS2 would begin in 2018-19 with the first trains running by 2026, provided there is parliamentary approval.

A report last year proposed that all trains would stop at a west London “Crossrail interchange” at the planned new station at Old Oak Common in Acton. There would be connections for Crossrail, Heathrow Express and services on the Great Western main line to Heathrow Airport, Reading, South West England and South Wales.

The council recognises the wider benefits of better and faster connections and the employment opportunities this could bring, but thinks not enough detailed information has been provided about the effects building and operating the transport link could have. In the proposed plans extensive tunnelling would be required along with the potential demolition of more than 60 properties. Although information events took place in the borough, the council felt they did not address many of the potential issues and lacked crucial documents such as an environmental impact assessment. The council says the objection will hold until more details are revealed.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for Transport and Environment, said: “We held back our views for some time as we wanted to hear what residents had to say. This is about listening to residents and reflecting this as a council. Until the consultation launched we didn’t know what details would be put forward. HS2 Ltd came back with little response although we gave them every opportunity. Now our cross-party response is to lodge a holding objection until we are given much more detail. It’s far too important for party politics, these are people’s lives, people’s homes.”

The public consultation ends on July 29.

The full objection letter sent by the council can be found on the transport and streets pages.

A map of the proposed route can be found on the Department for Transport’swebsite.