Warning on HS2 is dismissed as ‘scaremongering’

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A MINISTER has expressed anger over “misleading” information to residents affected by the HS2 high-speed rail project, which is to connect London and Leeds.

Among people affected by the London to Birmingham first phase of the line are those in the Aylesbury constituency where Foreign Office Minister David Lidington is the MP.

Mr Lidington met Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin and HS2 Ltd representatives last week where he complained about more than 800 pages of the environmental impact assessment being missing from information sent out by HS2 for consultation.

Mr Lidington has also criticised HS2 Ltd for sending out letters to 140 householders telling them that access to their home for HS2 work would be needed for 203 weeks when the necessity was only for “two to three weeks”.

The minister is also upset about a “misleading” letter sent to 15,000 householders about the effects of the HS2 work.

However, Ben Ruse, HS2 Ltd lead spokesman, said: “The works on National Grid overhead lines in Aylesbury will take place over a two to three-week window. Unfortunately, residents were led to believe the works would take place over 203 weeks. In response to this, HS2 Ltd has made proactive efforts to visit the 140 residents to explain the true nature and extent of the works. We hope the situation is now resolved.”

He went on: “The pages that were briefly missing from the environmental statement memory sticks would not have prevented anyone from being able to respond to the consultation. Also, it is not true that people have to respond to the ES consultation by the closing date of January 24 if they want to petition against the HS2 Bill.

“This is scaremongering and unhelpful. The rules of Parliament are clear.”

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