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Public told about changes to HS2 scheme

Hundreds of people in the Thames Valley have been packing public events this week - to get an update on how the controversial HS2 rail line will affect them.

The Government company behind the project says hundreds of changes have been made to take into account public concerns over noise and the environment. But many say they face misery and are left with homes that are worthless. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse reports.


Dates announced for HS2 information events

People living close to the planned high speed rail link between London and Birmingham will be able to speak to experts working on the project.

A series of HS2 community events will be taking place later this month.

Staff from Hs2 Ltd will be available to talk about the project and answer questions as part of an ongoing programme of information sharing with local communities along the 140 mile route of the first phase.

The proposed HS2 route will link London and Birmingham Credit: ITV News

The Buckinghamshire events will be held on:

  • Friday 16th October (2pm – 7pm): Ballinger War Memorial, Ballinger Road, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire. HP16 9LQ.
  • Saturday 7th November (11am – 4pm): Wendover Memorial Hall, Wharf Road, Wendover, Buckinghamshire. HP22 6HF

“A new high speed rail network will bring significant benefits for the country but we do understand that it effects peoples’ lives. We want to keep on talking to local communities directly about the proposals and these events are a chance to do so.

"Our specialists will be on hand to help and I would encourage people to come along if they can.”

– Simon Kirby, HS2 CEO

Select Committee discusses HS2 route

The proposed route is being decided Credit: ITV

As part of the inquiry into the High Speed Rail Bill, the HS2 Select Committee will be in Buckinghamshire today.

They're deciding on the proposed route and will be at, among other destinations, Aylesbury and Wendover. Campaigners are due to protest at every location they visit.

Campaigners to launch new case for HS2 alternative

The High Speed 2 Rail link would run through Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Credit: ITV News

Campaigners are due to launch a new case for an underground rail line as an alternative to the High Speed Two link through the Chilterns.

Several villages in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire are in the path of the proposed route.

Several councils, including Chiltern District, have commissioned a new report into a better and viable alternative.


More people to get HS2 compensation and help

More residents affected by the £50 billion HS2 high-speed rail project are to get Government compensation and assistance.

The new deal involves owner-occupiers of homes and small businesses between generally 60 metres and up to 120 metres from the line from London to Birmingham, which will carve through Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

Those affected can submit an application to HS2 Ltd to purchase their property at the full, unblighted value under the voluntary purchase scheme.

This is the value of the property as if there were no plans for HS2.

As an alternative to the voluntary purchase scheme, these eligible property owners will also have the option to accept a cash offer of 10% of that same value and stay in their homes and businesses. This will support people who want to remain in their community.

Those beyond the 120 metre boundary but within 300 metres of the line in rural areas will, following Royal Assent of the Phase One HS2 Hybrid Bill, be able to apply for a homeowner payment ranging from £7,500 to £22,500.

Anti-HS2 campaigners raise concerns over bat habitats

Campaigners are concerned HS2 will mean bats could lose their homes Credit: ITV Meridian

The controversial proposed high speed rail link between London and the West Midlands, has run into more opposition. Wildlife campaigners claim a rare species of bat could lose its habitat if the 42 billion pound scheme goes ahead.

ITV Meridian spoke to Matt Jackson from the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust.

Anger at news that burial sites will be dug up to make way for HS2

The Church of England has criticised plans for a high speed rail link through Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. The Archbishops' Council has expressed concerns at proposals to dig up a number of burial sites along the route.

More than 30,000 graves must be exhumed to make way for HS2 including two and a half thousand within the ruins of St Mary the Virgin Church in Stoke Mandeville. See our report from Mel Bloor

Church of England 'opposed' to HS2

The Church of England has announced it's opposition to the Government's controversial HS2 high speed rail line.

One of the Church's most powerful bodies, the Archbishop's Council says the route which would pass through Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, will desecrate thousands of graves.

In a statement a Department for Transport spokesman says throughout the development, burial grounds have been avoided as much as possible. ITV Meridian spoke to Helen Glass of HS2 Ltd.

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