At today’s Transport Select Committee meeting, CEO of HS2 Ltd Mark Thurston confirmed to my colleague from neighbouring Buckingham constituency MP Greg Smith that “people didn’t choose to live along the route” and assured the committee that “he will take his responsibilities seriously” on compensating residents, farmers and businesses. This must happen now, because too many people are suffering. He also said that “significant failings of the past must not be repeated”. He must ensure this is true.
In reference to Public Health England guidelines on social distancing, Mr Thurston stated that “if we can’t comply with guidelines we will shut our sites” and I will continue to hold HS2 Ltd accountable for all breaches of PHE guidelines that are reported to me by understandably concerned constituents. These guidelines are there to save lives and apply to all, HS2 Ltd is no exception.
The Transport Select Committee also questioned HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson who says he will not change the Parliamentary Act for Phase 1 of HS2, which includes Aylesbury, Stoke Mandeville and Wendover. He did say that he will come to meet affected communities and I welcome the opportunity for him to see first-hand the devastation that HS2 is having on the lives of my constituents.
The Minister also refused to reassess the case for HS2 in light of the coronavirus crisis despite hard lobbying from MPs - an extremely disappointing decision.
If you would like to watch the full session, you can do so here: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/c3218456-568c-4d35-8957-6026c65a1…