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Campaigner accuses HS2 chiefs of 'failing rural residents'

By Staf Newsletter  |  Posted: February 22, 2013

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A CAMPAIGNER has slammed HS2 bosses for their conduct after announcing the latest route to cut swathes through the Staffordshire countryside.


Colwich resident Rolfe Pearce, a key member of the Haywoods Voice campaign group, has written a furious letter to top brass at the HS2 project.

He and his neighbours are ‘more than a little upset’ at the way HS2 Ltd has handled the announcement of the ‘Y route’ affecting Stafford and its surrounding villages.

He has accused rail chiefs of failing to provide adequate means for rural residents to engage with their consultation process and not contacting residents eligible for their ‘exceptional hardship’ scheme.

Mr Pearce said: “A vast majority of ordinary people along the route have not been contacted by anyone apart from local action groups regarding the exceptional hardship scheme or impact potential of HS2. This surely is their responsibility.

“We have a large elderly population in rural Staffordshire who have very poor internet connection or no internet connection at all, meaning that a large part of the community is not able to engage in the consultation process as they cannot research the HS2 site.

“There is a double whammy for those wanting a hard copy of the literature. First you have to get online to get the address, which is stopping many from engaging in the process, only to find that, according to MPs in the area, there aren’t enough copies to send out to respondents.

“We were told by HS2 enquiries that, for those who felt that they would be effected by the route plan, they could send an email with their full address and name and a ‘property search’ would be undertaken.

“We were told HS2 Ltd would then send them an information pack based on their locality to the proposed route which would let them know if they were actually within the 120-metre compensation zone as this is not marked on any of HS2’s maps.

“Initially packs were being sent out quickly, but, shortly afterwards, the pack was just reduced to a copy of the exceptional hardship scheme and it now takes 20 working days for us to get a copy of even that.”

The Newsletter has contacted HS2 limited and is awaiting a response.

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  • Algorithm27  |  February 26 2013, 9:51AM

    I've complained to HS2 about why there has been no consultation too. The route the line takes seems to make no sense when existing travel corridors could have been used (and we have a few of those in Staffs!). Why carve yet another route through our County causing significant damage to our countryside and disadvantages to our economy and potential for loss of jobs etc. This is not good for Britain it will be a totally expensive mess!

  • shoptilludrop  |  February 25 2013, 8:21PM

    I sent a request 3 weeks ago and have still not recieved anything, I have the internet but still had trouble finding the consultation response forms for the EHS which, if I am reading it correctly will do nothing in any case for people who are not within 120 mts of the track either before it is built or after

  • Staf Newsletter  |  February 25 2013, 2:45PM

    I sent my emails to HS2 over a week ago with not even an acknowledgement that they had received it let alone a response its a disgrace

  • Staf Newsletter  |  February 25 2013, 2:44PM

    The Exceptional Hardship scheme consultation ends on the 28th of April and started in January, yet so many people in Staffordshire do not know that ANYONE can respond to the consultation not just those opposed to HS2.

  • Staf Newsletter  |  February 25 2013, 2:42PM

    Jeremy Lefroy MP told us at a packed meeting in Little Haywood that he is also finding it difficult to get copies for constituents in far flung parts of the county as some people are still unawares that HS2 may be knocking down their property

  • Staf Newsletter  |  February 25 2013, 2:40PM

    It is now taking 20 days to get hard copies of the consultation document and the reply forms from HS2. Take into consideration time to distribute them to the rural communities by car and walking on foot this is just not acceptable