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Protesters stop HS2 from felling trees in Great Missenden

Contractors are yet to turn up to start the work

Published by the Mix96 News Team at 1:38pm 21st October 2019. (Updated at 10:45am 22nd October 2019) 5-minute read.

Protesters stop HS2 from felling trees in Great Missenden

Around 50 protesters have been out in force in Great Missenden this morning to stop HS2 felling trees there and they succeeded.

It's part of their campaign against the widening of the Link Road.

HS2 contractors are yet to turn up, even though they were supposed to start clearing trees in the area.

Seb Berry was one of the campaigners down there this morning and used to be the Independent District councillor for the village:

"Had it not been for the actions of people setting up the camp over a week ago now, those trees would have almost certainly been felled by now.

"So, what we've done is shine a really strong spotlight on a quite frankly horrendous decision that dates back over three years."

Seb added that they had lots of support from vehicles driving through the village this morning.

Some of their signs say "honk if you hate HS2" and it certainly seems to have got a reaction:

"We had around 9 out of 10 motorists honking their horns as they drove past in support.

"There is a feeling down there that the community is totally united to try and stop this thing and frankly the camp isn't going anywhere."

We heard last week that emergency vehicles were 'blocked' as they tried to get through the roadworks and Seb told us he's seen lots of vehicles going down the one way system the wrong way.

The campaign also received a boost this week, as they got the backing of Bafta and Olivier award winning actor Robert Lindsay.

Lindsay who is best known for his TV work in My Family and Citizen Smith said:

"The proposed felling of the Link Road trees is another act of HS2 environmental vandalism in the heart of the Chilterns AONB.

"Best wishes to all the protesters who are trying to stop it."

He has also been retweeting the campaign's updates on twitter - which you can follow here.

Protesters also received a visit from Buckinghamshire County Council leader Martin Tett last week. 

He listened to their concerns and, according to campaigners, agreed at a public meeting to review the plans for the Link Road widening.

Martin said:

"It was good to hear directly from those most concerned about this scheme.

"I completely oppose HS2 and have campaigned against it locally and nationally. I really wish no additional work was required to mitigate this dreadful project’s impact on the local area. 

“The County Council has worked closely with the Parish Council to seek Assurances from HS2 in connection with a wide variety of local concerns, including parking and road safety.

"Specifically, with regard to the temporary widening of Link Road to reduce congestion during HS2 construction, I have agreed to see if another option would achieve the same or similar effects with less environmental impact.

"If that were the case, I for one would be delighted. I obviously cannot guarantee what the outcome will be or that HS2 would be prepared to modify the current scheme but I am more than happy to look again at an alternative."

MP Dame Cheryl Gillan also visited the side and said:

"Despite Buckinghamshire County Council, Chiltern District Council and myself and the local councilors all asking the Department for Transport to halt the enabling works at Great Missenden for HS2 until the Oakervee report has come in, they have gone ahead.

"We have traffic chaos on the A413…pictures of an ambulance and a fire engine being held up. Eight trees are going to be felled and people are demonstrating outside Great Missenden."

Dame Cheryl will again be writing to HS2 Ltd and the contractor Fusion, as well as ministers to try and get a pause in these works at the very least until the Oakervee Review has reported on the viability of HS2 Phase One.

Dame Cheryl in Great Missenden
Dame Cheryl in Great Missenden

An HS2 spokesperson said:

“One of the biggest challenges facing this country is climate change and road and air travel are significant contributors to this.

"The most effective way to cut transport carbon emissions in the UK and improve our air quality is to invest in rail, including HS2.

"This is the only way we will get people out of their cars, off domestic flights and take lorries off our congested roads.”

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