Group formed to battle HS2 rail route plans

AN ACTION group has been formed to fight plans for Britain’s new high-speed railway to run through the outskirts of a North Yorkshire village.

More than 120 residents of Church Fenton, near Tadcaster, turned up to the campaign group’s first meeting.

A spokesman said villagers were concerned the proposals could cause blight and affect their investment in their homes.

However, they insisted they were not “nimbys”, saying they would continue to fight the HS2 proposals even if its route was changed away from Church Fenton, as they felt there was no justifiable economic or environmental argument for the line.

The Press reported last week how a rail spur was set to link the new London to Leeds high speed route with the East Coast Main Line near Church Fenton.

The spur will ensure York passengers can use the new route, but four properties on the edge of the village are thought to lie directly on the route of the spur.

One couple, pensioners David and Rosemary Nattriss, spoke of their shock after discovering their detached house in Common Lane might be bought compulsorily and face demolition to make way for the line.

A spokesman for the action group said villagers had been contacted by similar groups across the country who were facing the same battle against HS2.

He said: “There is mounting public opposition to these proposals and the people of Yorkshire will not be fobbed off with a London-centric scheme which won’t benefit this region and will cost every household in the UK £1,500.”

He said the group was arguing for investment instead in the current railway network, and this seemed even more relevant following the discovery last week of a six-inch gap in the East Coast Main Line track near Hambleton.

“We should be proud of the rail network that our ancestors gave us,” he said.

“It provides links for many commuters throughout the country and not just the few who will benefit from HS2.”

Ian Jordan, HS2 Ltd director Leeds, Manchester and Heathrow, said High Speed Two would boost the economy in Yorkshire through thousands of new jobs and greatly improved connections between the region and the rest of the country.

He said the Government was bringing forward the public consultation on routes north of Birmingham to start later this year, enabling people to have their say before any decision on where the line will run.

He said: “Wherever practicable, the proposed route has been designed to minimise potential impacts on people and properties as well as important environmental features.

“We will work closely with communities and interested parties to refine plans to find the right balance between delivering essential infrastructure and respecting the rights and concerns of those most affected.”

Comments (7)

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4:13pm Thu 14 Feb 13

Mr Happy says...

"Not Nimbys" - don't make me laugh!

I'm sure there were people like this lot during the 1800's, when the original railway was being built (infact if you've watched certain episodes of Great Railway Journeys you'll know there were).

Luckily these sort of people are usually a minority voice or else we'd all still be travelling around in Hansom Cabs.
"Not Nimbys" - don't make me laugh! I'm sure there were people like this lot during the 1800's, when the original railway was being built (infact if you've watched certain episodes of Great Railway Journeys you'll know there were). Luckily these sort of people are usually a minority voice or else we'd all still be travelling around in Hansom Cabs. Mr Happy

6:44pm Thu 14 Feb 13

JHardacre says...

How about a petition in favour of the proposal?
How about a petition in favour of the proposal? JHardacre

8:42pm Thu 14 Feb 13

Paul Meoff says...

If 120 whining nimbys who already live next to a railway line don't convince the government to scrap a £30bn project, I don't know what possibly could.
If 120 whining nimbys who already live next to a railway line don't convince the government to scrap a £30bn project, I don't know what possibly could. Paul Meoff

10:30pm Thu 14 Feb 13

padav says...

"However, they insisted they were not “nimbys”, saying they would continue to fight the HS2 proposals even if its route was changed away from Church Fenton, as they felt there was no justifiable economic or environmental argument for the line."

Readers should consider the following irrefutable evidence;
1. Specific plans for High Speed Rail (north of London) have been in the public domain since 2010 - these included a plan to ultimately link up HS1, London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester - those plans also indicated that hybrid trains would transfer from any new High Speed network back on to the existing classic network, North of Leeds and North of Manchester. Maps showing this outline proposal were in public circulation
2. The detailed route for phase 1 was officially given ministerial approval more than 12 months ago
3. There hasn't been a peep out of any organised group of campaigners based anywhere near Church Fenton (or Yorkshire at all for that matter) between 2010 and January 2013
4. Organised anti-HS2 campaign groups have been operating in the areas close to the approved phase 1 route for at least two years - look up STOPHS2, HS2AA & AGHAST
5. Little more than two weeks after an outline proposal to route phase 2 of HS2 in close proximity to Church Fenton, a spontaneous uprising of public opposition erupts in the village, vowing to challenge HS2 strategy on the grounds that "there was no justifiable economic or environmental argument for the line"

Now, please excuse my cynicism but but somehow I think the above timeline proves beyond resonable doubt, to any objective observer, the real reason why people in Church Fenton SUDDENLY feel compelled to passionately oppose this long overdue project?

Do the words "out of sight, out of mind" spring to mind?
"However, they insisted they were not “nimbys”, saying they would continue to fight the HS2 proposals even if its route was changed away from Church Fenton, as they felt there was no justifiable economic or environmental argument for the line." Readers should consider the following irrefutable evidence; 1. Specific plans for High Speed Rail (north of London) have been in the public domain since 2010 - these included a plan to ultimately link up HS1, London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester - those plans also indicated that hybrid trains would transfer from any new High Speed network back on to the existing classic network, North of Leeds and North of Manchester. Maps showing this outline proposal were in public circulation 2. The detailed route for phase 1 was officially given ministerial approval more than 12 months ago 3. There hasn't been a peep out of any organised group of campaigners based anywhere near Church Fenton (or Yorkshire at all for that matter) between 2010 and January 2013 4. Organised anti-HS2 campaign groups have been operating in the areas close to the approved phase 1 route for at least two years - look up STOPHS2, HS2AA & AGHAST 5. Little more than two weeks after an outline proposal to route phase 2 of HS2 in close proximity to Church Fenton, a spontaneous uprising of public opposition erupts in the village, vowing to challenge HS2 strategy on the grounds that "there was no justifiable economic or environmental argument for the line" Now, please excuse my cynicism but but somehow I think the above timeline proves beyond resonable doubt, to any objective observer, the real reason why people in Church Fenton SUDDENLY feel compelled to passionately oppose this long overdue project? Do the words "out of sight, out of mind" spring to mind? padav

1:11am Fri 15 Feb 13

Magicman! says...

Here we go again.... when the first phase was announced we had a bunch of jumped up nimby's in the Chilterns deciding their land wasn't right for the train line, and now it looks like Church Fenton is going to be the northern branch of the 'stop any sort of transport progress group'

He said the group was arguing for investment instead in the current railway network

As I've said elsewhere, we have a flyover at Hitchin being built, Holgate was recently expanded to a 4-track junction to improve approach speeds to York and reduce waiting times outside of the station... the class 91 loco's are about to be either replaced of fully overhauled to become quicker accelerating and more reliable, whilst the Mk4 Intercity225 coaching stock that goes with the 91's will also be heavily refurbished (go to the National Railway Museum to see a mock-up of the proposals set forward by Eversholt, who is heading this process), next spring will see 4 Transpennine trains an hour between York and Manchester (2 to Liverpool), the additional route getting to liverpool about 30 minutes quicker than the current journey, the transpennine line will be electrified by 2018 which will give us brand new and longer electric trains by the same time to manchester, and also in 2018 the Intercity Express trains will start running on the ECML to replace the Intercity 125's (HST's)...
All that is happening over the next few years and will directly benefit York - so, what 'investment' is it you speak of??
Here we go again.... when the first phase was announced we had a bunch of jumped up nimby's in the Chilterns deciding [i]their[/i] land wasn't right for the train line, and now it looks like Church Fenton is going to be the northern branch of the 'stop any sort of transport progress group' [quote]He said the group was arguing for investment instead in the current railway network[/quote] As I've said elsewhere, we have a flyover at Hitchin being built, Holgate was recently expanded to a 4-track junction to improve approach speeds to York and reduce waiting times outside of the station... the class 91 loco's are about to be either replaced of fully overhauled to become quicker accelerating and more reliable, whilst the Mk4 Intercity225 coaching stock that goes with the 91's will also be heavily refurbished (go to the National Railway Museum to see a mock-up of the proposals set forward by Eversholt, who is heading this process), next spring will see 4 Transpennine trains an hour between York and Manchester (2 to Liverpool), the additional route getting to liverpool about 30 minutes quicker than the current journey, the transpennine line will be electrified by 2018 which will give us brand new and longer electric trains by the same time to manchester, and also in 2018 the Intercity Express trains will start running on the ECML to replace the Intercity 125's (HST's)... All that is happening over the next few years and will directly benefit York - so, what 'investment' is it you speak of?? Magicman!

5:18am Fri 15 Feb 13

York1900 says...

Time frame for HS2 to Yorkshire is 20 + years and any thing the government plans that far ahead can be dropped by the next government

But nimbys like to make the news just because they can
Time frame for HS2 to Yorkshire is 20 + years and any thing the government plans that far ahead can be dropped by the next government But nimbys like to make the news just because they can York1900

1:43pm Fri 15 Feb 13

padav says...

This article encapsulates all that is wrong with Britain when it comes to large infrastructure projects and goes a long way to explain why Britain consistently lags behind.

Please feel free to pull me up if I'm wrong but Church Fenton already boasts a railway junction running straight through the middle of the village so if those individuals now flocking to join in this "spontaneous" outburst of civic duty and campaign for what they perceive as a more effective use of taxpayer funding, ie. investment in the "current railway network", are successful it would amount to disruption on the existing line.

So which option do the good citizens of Church Fenton want;
1. Massive works going on along the line of the existing track - this upgrade work would necessitate widening of the trackbed to include new additional lines parallel to the existing line - that would mean demolition of directly adjacent property
or
2. A new line running behind the village, which won't require demolition of as much adjoining property

Apparently this newly founded action group will be pressing for additional investment in the existing rail network - they needn't bother wasting their time because records sums are ALREADY being invested - witness the recent announcement of a £37bn programme of works, for 2014-19 control period - that's a pro-rata annual rate in excess of £7bn or more than 3 times the cost of HS2 at less than £2bn per year over its 17 year construction cycle

"A spokesman for the action group said villagers had been contacted by similar groups across the country who were facing the same battle against HS2."

I'll bet they have - anti-HS2 campaign groups, also rather miraculously located along route of the already approved phase 1 works, have been itching to add numbers to swell their ranks - what do these campaign groups all have in common - a vested self interest driven agenda - jump up and down, make a much noise as possible and hopefully get the line of route moved (anywhere will do), dumping the problem in someone else's backyard in the process

We know exactly why these people are complaining and it has absolutely nothing to do with driving a better deal for UK plc

@York1900
Fortunately High Speed Rail enjoys an almost unique consensus across the mainstream political spectrum so whichever party (or coalition of parties) is installed in govt after the next election, HS2 will proceed
This article encapsulates all that is wrong with Britain when it comes to large infrastructure projects and goes a long way to explain why Britain consistently lags behind. Please feel free to pull me up if I'm wrong but Church Fenton already boasts a railway junction running straight through the middle of the village so if those individuals now flocking to join in this "spontaneous" outburst of civic duty and campaign for what they perceive as a more effective use of taxpayer funding, ie. investment in the "current railway network", are successful it would amount to disruption on the existing line. So which option do the good citizens of Church Fenton want; 1. Massive works going on along the line of the existing track - this upgrade work would necessitate widening of the trackbed to include new additional lines parallel to the existing line - that would mean demolition of directly adjacent property or 2. A new line running behind the village, which won't require demolition of as much adjoining property Apparently this newly founded action group will be pressing for additional investment in the existing rail network - they needn't bother wasting their time because records sums are ALREADY being invested - witness the recent announcement of a £37bn programme of works, for 2014-19 control period - that's a pro-rata annual rate in excess of £7bn or more than 3 times the cost of HS2 at less than £2bn per year over its 17 year construction cycle "A spokesman for the action group said villagers had been contacted by similar groups across the country who were facing the same battle against HS2." I'll bet they have - anti-HS2 campaign groups, also rather miraculously located along route of the already approved phase 1 works, have been itching to add numbers to swell their ranks - what do these campaign groups all have in common - a vested self interest driven agenda - jump up and down, make a much noise as possible and hopefully get the line of route moved (anywhere will do), dumping the problem in someone else's backyard in the process We know exactly why these people are complaining and it has absolutely nothing to do with driving a better deal for UK plc @York1900 Fortunately High Speed Rail enjoys an almost unique consensus across the mainstream political spectrum so whichever party (or coalition of parties) is installed in govt after the next election, HS2 will proceed padav

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