June 19, 2012Last month l asked the Mayor of London in a written MQT, whether he would be supporting local authorities like Camden and Hillingdon in their application for judicial review of HS2 and if so, how and on what grounds?
The response l got back from the Mayor was as follows:
“In my response to the Secretary of State’s consultation on the HS2 plans I made it clear my support for HS2 was conditional on a number of changes being made which would make HS2 more acceptable to London. This includes:
• providing for sufficient onward dispersal at London Euston;
• ensuring the new station at Old Oak Common is planned to minimise the impact on Crossrail and is connected to the rest of London;
• Securing a connection between HS2 and HS1 that does not impact negatively on the North London Line; and
• minimising the environmental impact of the route in those affected parts of London.
These issues are currently being considered by the HS2 project team and at this stage it is premature to say whether they are going to be addressed or not. I plan to discuss them again with the Secretary of State at our next meeting. As such, currently I do not intend to support Camden and Hillingdon in their JR applications”
I’m now pinning hopes on a change of heart by the Mayor, because for me, the key sentence here is ”currently I do not intend to support Camden and Hillingdon in their JR applications ”
The London Assembly’s Health & Environment Committee on the other hand have agreed to investigate the Environmental impact of HS2 this Autumn. Once the government’s current consultation on the scope and methodology for developing an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) of the HS2 route is complete, the Committee will be able to add an important London strategic perspective to this almighty scheme proposal from the Department of Transport.
Luckily, the Committee are prepared to undertake the task of looking at minimising the environmental impact of the route on those affected parts of London. Unfortunately, our own Mayor isn’t prepared to put his money where his mouth and lend his support to the London boroughs of Camden & Hillingdon in their legal challenges against the HS2. Not for now anyway.
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