Peter Delow, Chairman of the Cubbington Action Group against HS2, is challenging noise experts employed by HS2 Ltd. At the next Offchurch and Cubbington Community Forum meeting with HS2 Ltd on 27th November at Offchurch Village Hall he will make a presentation on issues that he has identified with the way that HS2 Ltd is assessing the impacts of train noise and designing the mitigation that is required to reduce these impacts.
“I recognise,” Peter said, “that I am taking on the part of David against HS2’s Goliath. I am making no secret of the fact that I have no qualifications in acoustics. However, I am a Chartered Engineer and have researched the subject of the noise impacts of high speed trains very extensively. I am concerned that HS2 Ltd is underestimating the impacts and that the mitigation proposed will be ineffective. I feel that my concerns should be given a fair hearing by HS2 Ltd.”
This is the latest move in a long-running saga. Since 2011 Peter has been writing a blog on the impacts that HS2 will have on the environment and this sparked his interest in noise issues. In May 2012 he submitted a paper to HS2 Ltd that set out his concerns, together with a request that HS2 Ltd set up a working party with local community representatives along the route to discuss noise issues. HS2 Ltd declined this request and has, so far, failed to comment on his paper.
At the invitation of HS2 Ltd he also submitted a series of questions on noise for its experts: he has been waiting for the answers since September.
“It’s all a bit frustrating,” Peter said, “it seems to be one-way traffic at the moment. At least this latest attempt seems to have ruffled a few feathers at HS2 Ltd. Despite being charged with secretariat duties for the meeting, HS2 Ltd has refused to circulate my presentation to attendees in advance.”
A HS2 Ltd representative has explained the reason for this refusal to Peter: “I do appreciate what the Terms of Reference for our Forums say and indeed thus far we have agreed to circulate community mitigation proposals in the manner requested. However, we (HS2 Ltd) are using public money to promote the HS2 project and I am afraid I cannot justify circulating material that has the tone of being anti-HS2.”
2. A new set of photographic notelets has been launched to help raise funds for the campaign. They feature stunning photographs of Cubbington’s countryside, including flowers, butterflies and the Champion Wild Pear tree which will be destroyed by the HS2 railway. Ideal for birthdays, thank-you notes and presents, a £4 pack of 8 notelets is available from Frances Wilmot 426597 (Leamington) or Rosemary Guiot 425283. (Cubbington). Notelets will be also be on sale on Saturday 1st December at St Mary’s Christmas Fair, Cubbington village hall, Broadway, 2 – 4pm.
- Peter’s blog, HS2 and the environment, may be found at http://hs2andtheenvironment.wordpress.com.
- The meeting on the 27th November is the fourth Offchurch and Cubbington Community Forum. This forum is one of a number that HS2 Ltd has set up along the route of HS2. Further information on the purpose of these meetings may be found at http://www.hs2.org.uk/developing-hs2/forums.
- Despite the business of the community forums being matters of public interest, HS2 Ltd does not encourage public attendance. The Company’s position was set out in a press release in June this year (at http://assets.hs2.org.uk/sites/default/files/120618%20community%20forums-%202nd%20round%20start-final.pdf) as follows:“It is important that the community forums are large enough to provide a range of views but small enough that meaningful discussion is possible. For this reason, community forums are not primarily intended to be public meetings.”
Photograph: Peter Delow is on the right with a few members of the Action Group during the Autumn Walk. The view shows the peaceful Leam Valley which will be crossed by HS2 and a viaduct, cutting off Cubbington’s public footpaths to several neighbouring villages.