High Speed Rail Bill Select Committee: Statement by the Chair

19 March 2015

Statement made on 18 March 2015 by the Chair of the Committee, Mr Robert Syms MP.

1. CHAIR: Welcome. Good morning and welcome to the HS2 Select Committee. We have a couple of petitioners this morning. Before we do so, we have some further decisions. Petitioners from Offchurch and Cubbington wanted a tunnel or lowering of line. There are also issues with the highly valued local amenity of South Cubbington Wood, with local sites
of special scientific interest and with severance of rights of way. We have requested the promoter provide a review of its position on lowering of the line in Warwickshire, although we consider there is unlikely to be sufficient justification for a tunnel, given the extra construction traffic that would be involved. Our interim report will contain further recommendations.

2. The McGregor farm was a case where alternative siting and mitigation planting should be looked at.

3. Around Southam, we are concerned about potential adverse effects on business and employment from disruption caused by construction works. We expect the promoter to take full account of such effects in managing the project and to seek to minimise them. The local community expects and should receive reassurance on traffic management.

4. We want a pedestrian crossing in the village of Ufton, which will suffer some five years of construction traffic to be as close as practicable to the location specified by petitioners and funded by the promoter.

5. We are not convinced by the arguments for a longer tunnel at Long Itchington, but there should be a roundabout at the junction of the Long Itchington Road to help with handling construction traffic from the compound.

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