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NEWS RELEASE – IMMEDIATE Conserve the Chilterns sets out plans for an acceptable High Speed Rail Conserve the Chilterns and Countryside (CCC) has written to the Rail Minister, the Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, setting out what it sees as the minimum requirements for a high speed rail link running through the Chilterns. The group, formed to protect the residents in the area of the Chilterns most at risk from the proposed route of HS2, believes the government needs to look at more effective ways of mitigating environmental damage, providing more benefits to communities along the route and maximising the economic and passenger potentials. Campaign spokesman, Mark Adams, said: “Our criteria demonstrate how HS2 can be delivered in a way that spreads the benefits of HS2 to communities along the route, not just those in the cities at either end. Our approach offers the best protection for the Chilterns and maximises the economic rewards for business in the UK, by linking the UK, not just to London, but to Heathrow and the continent as well. “Furthermore, our criteria would guarantee that the full passenger benefits of HS2 are realised and that the UK is not left with an expensive white elephant. Most significantly, our criteria will mitigate the scandalous environmental damage the current recommended route promises to inflict upon the Chilterns.” CCC calls on the government to consider alternative options for HS2 that take into account the following: Environmental • Full environmental mitigation must be put in place along the entire route, but particularly in the Chilterns AONB • The route should also follow existing major transport corridors or travel through tunnels, wherever possible • The line must traverse the shortest viable route across the Chilterns Community • The government needs to provide viable and tangible benefits to communities along the route, including javelin services for nearby towns • There must be robust planning that makes provisions and commitments to reducing visual, traffic and noise impact during construction • Unlike the previous administration, the government must ensure communities play a leading role in the consultation Economic • A full economic cost/benefit analysis should be carried out by the government to demonstrate there are concrete advantages to be had from HS2 • HS2 must have a central London terminal, with a direct link to Heathrow, Crossrail and, via HS1, to the Continent • The government must make a commitment that over time the high speed network will link the continent, via HS1 and HS2, to the north of England and Scotland CCC is calling on the government to listen to the wishes of the residents of the Chilterns and the growing coalition of business and interest groups that support a review of the current recommended route. For more information, please contact Mark Adams on 07739 171 191 or via email on email@example.com For more information on CCC’s criteria go to: http://www.conservecc.org.uk/Criteriaforhighspeed2.htm ENDS Notes to editors: • CCC is a group of residents from the Chilterns area whose aim is to promote and protect the Chilterns Hills and countryside, and in particular the area of outstanding beauty around, and between, Amersham, Chesham and Wendover. • The Conserve the Chilterns and Countryside campaign group (CCC), is chaired by Brian True- May, Managing Director of Bentley Productions (makers of Midsomer Murders, which is set in the Chilterns). • CCC is opposed to the construction of a High Speed rail network along HS2’s current recommended route on the grounds that it will destroy and erode ancient landscapes and wildlife forever in an otherwise untouched area of the South East of England. This includes visual impact, noise, environmental degradation, road and other infrastructure works. • The group also believes that alternative options and routes are available that do not have such significant impacts as the recommended route and that from an economic perspective the government should pursue a more integrated approach taking in Heathrow, HS1 and Crossrail.
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