I am extremely disappointed and incredibly frustrated by this decision, as I know people will be throughout the Aylesbury constituency, in both town and villages. I believe there are better alternatives and very much regret that the government doesn’t agree.
HS2 has been the number 1 issue raised with me by local people since the beginning of my election campaign. I share their concerns over both the eye-watering cost of the project and the damage that will be done to our local environment, especially ancient woodlands.
Today's announcement will cause alarm for families and businesses who have already suffered at the hands of HS2 Ltd, especially the owners of small farms. Local residents have written to me, come to my surgery and approached me in the street to express their utter frustration at the way the company has treated them. I have been appalled by what I have heard. The company is damaging ordinary people's livelihoods, and worse, it is harming their health, through the stress and anxiety caused by its arrogant attitude. It has failed to pay people the money it owes for the property it has taken, it has ignored explicit legal instructions and time and again, it has simply not bothered to respond to legitimate questions. This must stop now.
I have directly raised all the cases brought to me with the company and with ministers, who have promised to act on each and every one of them.
I am pleased that the Government intends to introduce a much more robust way of holding HS2 Ltd to account, and I expect that to be both fair and fast.
I have already spoken to the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps MP, and emphasised to him that it is vital that the Aylesbury area benefits fully from the additional investment in infrastructure, including buses, that has been announced today. I will also continue to call for the best mitigation possible including a mined tunnel at Wendover.
As MP for Aylesbury, I will stand up for my constituents as they face the repercussions of the decision to proceed with HS2.