Mayor on High Speed 2

See the Mayor's responses to questions on High-Speed 2 put to him by Navin Shah.

HS2 (1)

Question No: 653 / 2012

Navin Shah

Residents in Kensal Green are extremely concerned about the suggested route for the HS2 passing underneath this residential location. They have continually tried to contact the HS2 team to no avail. They have met with an engineer who suggested an alternative route that runs underneath the existing Euston to Watford train line and would be minimally disruptive to residents. Will you support this alternative route, in light of your comments in January, that HS2 “…has to be right for London. And there are important aspects of HS2 which are not right?”

Written response from the Mayor

Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly.

HS2 (3)

Question No: 655 / 2012

Navin Shah

If HS2 was to remain in it’s existing route, travelling underneath the Harrow Road at Kensal Green, would these residents be entitled to any form of compensation? If so, how would it be calculated and what is the procedure/process for this?

Written response from the Mayor

Whilst this is an issue for HS2 Ltd to resolve, as the promoters of the scheme, I have great sympathy for residents in Kensal Green. Certain sections along the route have not been mitigated and I will continue to work closely with the promoters of the line, High Speed Two Limited (HS2 Ltd), to ensure that they keep environmental impacts in London to an absolute minimum. This will include asking HS2 Ltd to investigate the possibility of reducing the vibration and noise impacts along the tunnelled section between Old Oak Common and Euston.

The Government, through HS2 Ltd, have indicated that it is committed to working with all affected local authorities to agree a joint strategy, including thorough engagement with local people, businesses and communities. I am also aware that the Government is currently drawing up detailed blight and property proposals and will launch a 12-week consultation in Spring 2012.

HS2 (4)

Question No: 656 / 2012

Navin Shah

Many residents are currently unable to sell their properties in Kensal Green because of the proposals for the tunnel being built 12 metres below their homes. HS2 would be nearest to the surface here then at any other part along the route. Please could you supply comparative data from HS1 where this was the case and what affect it had on the properties above the tunnels in relation to vibrations and noise?

Written response from the Mayor

I have great sympathy for residents in Kensal Green. Whilst I am pleased to see that the Secretary of State has agreed to mitigate the effects of the line through west London, there are still several impacts on Londoners, including noise and vibration, which are yet to be resolved. My team are in active discussion with the DfT and HS2 about this.

For information, TfL has checked with HS2 Ltd and the tunnel runs around 25m under the Kensal Green area – not 12m as you quote. The alignment never gets as shallow as 12m under Londoners’ homes. The experience of HS1 (which runs at a similar depth through east London) suggests that, where the route runs under Londoners, there have been very few complaints in relation to the noise / vibration effects of the high speed rail line.*

HS2 (6)

Question No: 658 / 2012

Navin Shah

Views of my constituents in Brent have not been taken into consideration in the planning of HS2, when it will directly affect them because of the current position of the tunnel. There has been a complete lack of information made available to them. Could you provide details of how and when the constituents were consulted and the type of consultation undertaken?

Written response from the Mayor

I have great sympathy your constituents in Brent. While I am pleased to see that the Secretary of State has agreed to mitigate the effects of the line through west London, there are still several impacts on Londoners, including noise and vibration, which are yet to be resolved.

I am informed that the promoters of the scheme, HS2 Ltd, ran a consultation on behalf of the Government last year, between Feb and July 2011. There were a series of roadshow events, including one at Queens Park (Salisbury Road) on 26 March 2011. Members of the public were invited to this event to establish more details about how the scheme affects them.

Members of the public were also invited to respond to the Government consultation. In total, almost 50,000 responses were received by Government.

HS2 (7)

Question No: 659 / 2012

Navin Shah

The proposals on the HS2 website stated the Watford to Euston train would be stopped at Queen’s Park. This is a valuable service for people in the area and they would like a guarantee that this would not happen.

Written response from the Mayor

TfL is not aware of any plans to curtail London Overground services between Watford Junction and Euston at Queen’s Park as part of the HS2 proposals. I expect these services to continue to serve Euston in the future.

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