“Our properties and businesses will be worthless, our health and that of our children and grandchildren will be compromised, the wildlife of the area dead and our beautiful, clear chalk streams and drinking water dried up long ago and we are supposed to thank HS2 and our Government for killing our village - and many others along the route - so that Birmingham can get to Bucks 20 minutes and 20 years sooner.” Anne - Wendover Resident
Over the new year period a new hub of community resistance has been established just outside the village of Wendover.
This woodland camp, just off the A413, has been chosen as it stands directly on the footprint of the proposed HS2 line and Wendover viaducts.
The immediate area surrounding the camp is due to become a hub of heavy good vehicles and environmental impact. The associated HS2 development includes a bentonite factory, several access roads and compounds that will be used throughout the six years of construction.
The camp has chosen to stand with Wendover as this massive civil engineering project will cut through the heart of the village. Yet Wendover will have the least level of mitigation spent per affected household along the route. In the vicinity of the proposal is for two viaducts, each aprox 450 metres long and a height of 15 metres, joined by a massive embankment over 1km long all sitting within the A.O.N.B (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty)
Over budget, out of control the runaway HS2 train...
High Speed 2 (HS2) is the proposed new high speed railway, planned to be built in England, but funded by taxpayers across the UK. The proposals were made public in 2010, at the very end of the last Labour government. The first phase is due to open in 2026. But it is over budget and behind schedule.
There is "overwhelming evidence" that the costs of HS2 are "out of control" and its benefits overstated, the deputy chair of its review panel has said.
Lord Berkeley said the high-speed rail line, linking London and northern England, is likely to cost over £108bn.
HS2 fails the carbon case
Even when HS2 was first proposed, the carbon case was, at best, neutral. With the operation of HS2 over decades potentially offsetting the carbon cost of building it. But it has since got significantly worse.
Regardless of operation, simply building HS2 will cause embedded carbon emissions, which HS2 Ltd estimated in 2019 to be around 1,451,000 tCO2e tonnes
However, as of February 2019, the carbon case massively worsened, with the latest figures from HS2 Ltd showing that after 120 years of operations, HS2 would be increasing carbon emissions rather than reducing them.
What have we got to loose?
We have already started to see the impacts across many areas phase 1 of the HS2 development. There has already been huge clearances across Colne Valley, and the felling of iconic trees at Denham Park due to start in the first week of February 2020.
Preparation work is underway for the first phase of HS2 which threatens to smash through 34 ancient woods.
Between London and Birmingham, these homes to rare and endangered species will be devastated. These habitats cannot be relocated or replaced. - Woodland Trust
What does this mean for Wendover?
- 450m scars across the local landscape
- Using HS2/EK noise data its now calculated that the trains are going to affect twice as many houses, adversely.
- The noise of the train passing is comparable to a lawn mower starting….
- At full capacity this could mean trains passing between every 90 second to 6 minutes 20 hours a day…
- Construction of several access roads across the local landscape
- Construction of a bentonite factory on the A413
- A predicted 60 - 90 hgv movements per day on local roads during construction
- Further closures of local footpaths and amenities
- Forced possession orders of homes… there have already been several families forced to move out of Wendover!
- An adverse effect on quality of life and house prices in the area
So what can we do?
There has already been attempts to move protectors from an established site at Harvil Road, which were resisted even in the face of arrests. This site was established around two years ago and has been protecting the surrounding land through occupation, direct action and legal channels. They have already had several victories and seen off an attempt to fell an avenue of trees and an eviction. Even in the face of this, a group alongside the community has come together to stand in opposition to HS2, and have re established a resistance camp to protect against the planned works.
The fight is only just beginning! There are many ways we can work together but the first step is to connect with the local community. We invite anyone to come and visit us at camp just off the A413 between Wendover and Missenden.
- Join our social media channels or send us an email to be added to our mailing list (Details below)
- Visit camp and bring supplies (Firewood is always welcome)
- Speak to your neighbours about concerns, start a street by street campaign. We can help with posters stickers etc, all available at camp.
- Report back activity and working by HS2 and contractors to the camp
- Visit camp and offer some skills, there is always a job here or something we can work on together
- We need people who love admin! Help us write updates, organise venues, apply for funding... your skill set might be just what's needed!
- Have a look in your sheds we always need building materials, climbing gear and other bits and bobs. Updates and wish lists can be found on social media
- Attend our upcoming public meeting (More details available through social media and mailing list)
- Attend our upcoming media training and become a voice for your community