This news update is taken directly from a press release from Zac Goldsmith MP who participated in Monday’s meeting with, Nick Hurd, our MP, Patrick McLoughlin, the Transport Secretary, and key local stakeholders.
We have made tiny edits in style to make it flow better but, otherwise, it’s exactly as he issued it. Here goes:
New HS2 Working Group will get best deal for Hillingdon
An HS2 working group has been set up for Hillingdon following a meeting between Conservative candidate for London Mayor Zac Goldsmith, the Transport Secretary and key local stakeholders.
The meeting was set up by Zac Goldsmith who recently met with HS2 campaigners in Ruislip. He was joined at the meeting by fellow campaigners Nick Hurd MP, the current Mayor of London Boris Johnson MP, and Leader of Hillingdon Borough Council Cllr Ray Puddifoot for the meeting at the Department for Transport.
Goldsmith said, “This was a productive discussion. I am very pleased that the Transport Secretary listened to our concerns and we can make the case for a tunnel under Hillingdon.”
He added, “I will continue to apply maximum pressure to ensure that HS2 is tunnelled under Hillingdon, protecting the environment and our community. I want to minimise the potential disruption that HS2 could cause.”
“I am the only candidate who can work with the Government to protect London’s economy and investment in transport infrastructure. Khan’s £1.9 billion budget black hole would jeopardise investment and put Hillingdon’s security at risk. My Action Plan for Greater London will deliver for Hillingdon residents.”
Here’s what some of the other participants had to say:
Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP: “HS2 will have a transformative effect on the whole of the UK but it is essential that when we build it we get it right. Part of this process will mean looking again where necessary. Zac, Nick, Boris and Ray have made a strong case on behalf of Hillingdon and I have asked for a working group to be established between Hillingdon Borough Council, HS2 Ltd and the Department for Transport. I expect this group to work through the important issues raised in our meeting and report to back to me.”
Boris Johnson MP: “This is great news, this fresh work will now look again into the possibility of the Colne Valley tunnel. I believe we can show it makes good sense in terms of both cost and efficiency. If the tunnel can be delivered for the same cost, it’d be crazy not to do it.”
Nick Hurd MP: “We have argued for a long time that a tunnel extension is the best solution to all the problems that HS2 causes in the area. Up till now that option has not been taken seriously. I am pleased that we have managed to put it back on the agenda.”
Cllr Ray Puddifoot: “I am grateful to Zac for leading on this initiative and the Secretary of State for agreeing to look at the case for a tunnel. It is without doubt the most cost effective solution and will cause the least amount of damage and disruption to our environment and our residents.”
The working group will be made up of six people; three from Hillingdon Borough Council, two from HS2 Ltd and one from the Department for Transport.