- Wednesday 10th November 2010
- Present: Gaynor Pope,Les Armstrong, Claire Bennett,
- Committee Members, Members of the local community
- Next Meeting: Monday 15th November 2010 – Sunrise.Packington Lane
Claire Bennett opened the meeting by thanking everyone in attendance Claire Introduce herself and people on the stage.Gaynor Pope. Les Armstrong as Residents of Hopwas.
General information: The meeting was being recorded for our records
Claire explained the reason for the meeting ( HS2 ) and that we wished to share the details we have attained in the last few weeks.Claire said the meeting would take approx 1 hour
Les Armstrong was then asked to talk on HS2 the history ( when we found out about the proposed Tamworth route ) The preferred Adonis route and the Tamworth proposed route
We where made aware of the alternative Tamworth route a few weeks ago and it was mentioned on the Hints website . It appeared a gentleman from Weeford Parish is trying to move the route from Hints to us ,Les said that HS1 Folkestone and London cost 5 .2 billion and last month was sold to 2 Canadian Pensions funds for 2.1 billion - not very encouraging ! HS2 London- Birmingham - Manchester Train speed 250 miles per hour which means it is not able to have many stations ( no stop in Staffordshire . No benefit to Tamworth – people will have to travel to Birmingham to catch train -) Les then explained the route the rail would take from Mile oak through to the Hopwas ridge
Via the Devils Dressing room and out by the entrance to Hopwas Hayes wood ( semi ancient woodland ). Les said that he feared that if the outside of Hopwas wood was allowed to be sacrificed for HS2 then it would be a clear opening to the woods being quarried. The route would then continue to the back of Packington Hall and across Rifle ranges.
Les said this was just a proposed route apparently suggested by a gentleman in Hints Parish
Les said it was imperative action was taken .The proposed route Les said was due to be announced by the government before Christmas, and if this was so they would need to have the route in place , literature ready by approx the end of November. This new proposed route we do know was proposed to the secretary of State Philip Hammond at a meeting in Lichfield on the 5th October 2010 .So it appears that this route is being considered.
Les said this was all we could tell people at the moment, and had anyone any questions:
Ron Gibson, Local Landowner asked how all this would affect house prices
Les said that it would definitely affect prices in Drayton Bassett, Mile Oak Hopwas and Whittingham. Les said because of the elevation of the line most of Tamworth would see it
And if they could see it they would hear it. Les said that Charles Wylie and himself had attended a meeting in London on the 25th October and it was said that the noise would be 95 decibels ( Same noise as Jet aircraft at take off )Les said where he lives on Hopwas bank they can hear people talking on Tamworth Cricket pitch – just an example of the noise, and that people in Hopwas will hear this train and probably also in Tamworth.
The trains are proposed to run at 250 miles an hour every 4 mins, certainly making an impact on Hopwas tranquillity, and also with these electric trains at night time there is a bright flash.
Also causing an intrusions to peace and tranquility.Elevation of the line from Bangley Farm to Devils Dressing Room on a via duct 20 metres high plus all the electric cables.
Mike Wright Rail Vehicle Engineer ( Resident of Hopwas ) – speciality roaming vehicles not civil engineering – in the audience gave some technical insight into HS2. Technical spec. Maximum gradient should be 2.5 % which is a 1 in 40 gradient which is still steep in railway terms which means that for every metre you go up you have to go out 40 metres. In the area by the Devils dressing room you are going to have to raise it to 60 metres. Embankment 2 4 kilm ( mile and a half ) From the Devils dressing room to Bourne Brook which is what Hints people are trying to protect You will have a large,high embankment or viaduct going across Bourne Brook , with the same this side of the hill.
They may be able to reduce the height a little by making a bigger cutting into the hill
This would mean that the scar left would be wider.The engineers would try and match the spoil they take out of the hill with the height of the embankment.Its a trade off
Anonymous asked asked if the original Adonis route would be that high. Mike said, No it would not be any way near. He explained that HS2 would recommend their preferred route before Christmas and then there would be a consultation period in the new year.The Original Adonis route had an high Viaduct going over Bourne Brook adjacent to Hints but they were asked to look at that again and it was reduced in height by 10- metres.The magnitude of the earth works involved is nothing like this Tamworth route. This route the earthworks would be enormous. The Hints route they have lower the tracks to put as much into cuttings – hence noise transmissions are not so great, were as up on an embankment
The opposite is true.
Anonymous asked if this new alternative route would be more expensive than the original Adonis route. Mike said this was not his area and could not comment
Anonymous /Claire Bennett asked with regards to the width of the rail. Mike said the specifications are :
Level ground the rail would be 25 metres fence to fence. But a further 25 metres each side of vegitation. This changes when talking about a cutting or embankment, because of the angle these take. Mike said again not his area and could not comment,He would try and find out.
Anonymous asked a question – something to do with rail track width 25metres not audible but answer – Rail tracks have to be 4.5 metres apart.
Les Armstrong said that this is contrary to what was said at the meeting in London on the 25th October.Mike said he could not comment on that and that he was taking his information from the HS2 technical appendix on the Department of Transport Web site.
Gaynor Pope thanked Mike for his input.
Anonymous asked if this Tamworth route had been mentioned at the meeting in London on the 25th October. Les Armstrong said the question of width of track was mentioned that the trains had to be 25 metres apart. But that various things had been said with very many speakers.Les said that what was true that the width would be 75 metres track to track –
Mike disagreed and reiterated what he had said before 25 metres fence to fence and then an addition 25 metres of vegetation making a total of 75 metres- All on the HS2 web site
Anonymous continued … as previous asked the question again had the Tamworth route been mentioned in the London meeting. Les Armstrong said no but that we are aware that Philip Hammond Secretary of State for Transport has been presented with this proposal. Again the person in the audience asked was a proposal just from Hints, and Les said it was from a person from Weeford – But we could of course not give names – and published on Hints website.
The map we had access to on that site was blurred and it was very difficult to see
Where this new proposed route would be
Ron Gibson asked how many more people would this new proposed route effect than the
Original Adonis route : Les said that from the information we had the Hints route would be seen by 8 houses .The Tamworth / Hopwas route it will be seem by thousands, the whole of the Tamworth conurbation plus Drayton Bassett. Mile oak, Hopwas and Whittington, Whittington being in a different constituency than us
Ray Vanstone introduced himself as chair of Friends of Hopwas wood and said he would like to confirm that Hopwas is designated as Ancient wood.It wasn’t but they have been working with Natural England and it has now been reinstated Claire Bennett said that was Fantastic news.Ray wanted to make this clear because it was important that the Woods had ancient woodland status because of the issue of mining the sand and gravel in the woods.Mr Vanstone then asked for clarification : aware of Original Adonis route
Currently the one the government are working on .asked if it was correct that one individual presented an alternative to Philip Hammond to consider and not Hints Parish Council
Les Armstrong said that as far as we Know Hints Parish Council are not supporting this proposal, but this proposal had some credance as the individual had been allowed to go into a meeting with Philip Hammond and present this proposal to him. Mr Vanstone asked what this meeting was about – who else was present – Ron Gibson said that a member of the Hints Parish council was at this meeting and the original purpose of the meeting was to get the rail moved from near Boley Park – That is factual
Again Mr Vanstone asked – This alternative proposal is by one person and not supported by anyone else – Mr Gibson said he wouldn’t say that
Gaynor Pope then said that we had the minutes from that meeting that anyone could read
She listed people present :2 HS2 persons/Lichfield council /2 Lichfield action group/Michael Fabricant/Christopher Pincher( our MP) Gaynor then went on to explain How we had found out about this alternative Route
We became aware of this information – lived with it for 2 weeks to make sure we had the correct info – We are just local people with this info and we are sharing Christopher Pincher was inviting to come to Hopwas Ridge and accepted this invitation 2 weeks ago – He did say it was an idyllic spot – We don’t think he had been up on the ridge before.How many people actually have not been up there?.It is a beautiful spot and a part of green – we need to keep and fight for – Yes it is one man’s proposal and infact this is what Christopher Pincher said – one man who has drawn a line on a map – unfortunately this man has been allowed access to 2 HS2 engineers. Philip Hammond – we have not been able to gain access to these people – no one has come back to us – For 3 weeks we have been trying to get to speak with someone, yet Michael Fabricant got this man from weeford into a meeting.Christopher Pincher said we need to get as many people To write letters emails etc –rally the troops- He did not say this is just a line on a map someone has proposed – This concerns us and makes us think we have to start fighting and organising. Gaynor mentioned the template letters we had given out during the evening and urged everyone to write letters sending them to the 4 addresses we had given on the information sheet, let them know we are concerned and upset .She said this was just the start. She said that we are not saying we want this to go back to Hints – we didn’t ask for this argument it was brought to us !
Anonymous asked mentioned the list of email address – some were incorrect – Gaynor acknowledged this- She did say we have amended this and that also now we have a Blogg, Facebook and Twitter with correct details .Gaynor said that if anyone with IT skills
Could offer assistance the committee would be grateful
Anonymous asked If Michael Fabricant goes someone into a meeting why couldn’t Christopher Pincher do the same for us – Had we asked? Claire Bennett said she did ask Mr Pincher this question when he came to Hopwas Ridge and his answer was that there was a procedure to follow and he would wait for the letters – there was a waiting list – Claire asked him to get on the telephone and try and get on this list – she followed that up with an email – but still we have heard nothing – this is what we are finding – no one comes back to us!
John ( Rose Cottage ) asked why someone had proposed this alternative route- Les said it was because the Adonis Hints route went through or near this gentleman property. John asked why anyone would listen to just one man and how did he get into a meeting to propose this – Les said that was the worrying factor for us!
Michael Fabricant ,Les said seems to have galvanised a lot of support for Hints and Lichfield. We though do not seem to be able to get that type of support.Michael Fabricant of course if the Tory Whip and our MP it may be is subservient to him !
Jeff from Whittington Parish Council ( asked to attend on their behalf ) he was welcomed
Asked regarding the information we have been giving. Michael Fabricant is the MP for Whittington and it didn’t make sense to them that he could support the alternative route
Jeff asked why we were not apposing HS2 and not just the route
Les Armstrong said he was glad this had been mentioned; We have only recently been aware of this alternative route, and as the announcement of the preferred route is going to be made before Christmas – it is simply and case of lack of time. Hints has had all year to take action – we need to take action to prevent this alternative route – then we can fight HS2
Ron Gibson – Hints Parish Council said he had been told that they are apposed to HS2 and that this alternative route was nothing to do with them. He had asked them why then was it on their Website.Also why is there a second alternative route that was on show and their open day at Hints .
Someone asked Mike Wright the how long it would take to change details from the preferred Adonis route to the Tamworth /Hopwas route – surely it would be a big task - Mike said with computer software probably only a day The person asked if environmental issues would be taken into account, and Mike said that yes a team would do ground work, but he was no aware this had been done as yet
Gaynor Pope asked if it was correct that HS2 engineers had been out twice to look at the Route ( Tamworth / Hopwas ) he did not know
Les Armstrong said that Michael Fabricant has a petition with 3 and half thousand signatures on it – to be presented to Philip Hammond – to get the route changed This is not in our favour at all. Also with regards the gentleman from Whittington not understanding Fabricants stance on the alternative route, it is believed that government had calculated the amount of voters in Whittington as apposed to Boley Park !!!! Whittington Lost
Lady from the audience said she apposed it not so much for Height or sound but how it feels, she suffers from Electro Magnetic High Persensortivity – she has a house in Tamworth she cannot live in because it is apparel to Train track – this is a growing concern Lots of people are suffering from power lines / tracks etc.
Richard Barnes from Packington Hall Farm direct line of sight for route, He referred to his letter on the Hints website regarding why the route was a bad idea : Whittington Ranges.They are not closed temporarily out of use - no ammunitions they will use them again – they are not controlled by Whittington Barracks but from Military strategy of training areas which is controlled by Swinnerton in Stone , they are the people who organise who shots where and what ! They have just spent half million pounds on this Sea range high tec , electronically operated tragic system to use Richard said that he had put on the website that these areas would not be able to be used on this route because they are restricting more and more military ranges. Whittington is quite a high spec one and runs with Kingsbury and Kinnerton
Mr Lousher saw the proposals and drew another line for the route excluding the firing ranges and bringing it to the end of my garden at Packington Hall Farm.This line then went through the miniature ranges, as we all know Whittington Barracks are now Medical training facility. In General terms a little bit of knee jerking reaction going on.
Mr Barnes reiterated that we have little time to appose this route. The Adonis route looking at it is the most sensible route _ Although he opposed HS2 completely – This alternative route has many difficulties and would seem to cost more – Huge logistical undertaking. We have to make a Hugh nuisance of ourselves and get our voices heard or we will lose this battle – This gentleman from Weeford has somehow got into a meeting with HS2 engineers and had his voice heard. Mr Barnes said this whole project has been screened in secrecy – we have to act now – He said he was directly on the route and yet has not been informed about anything – long term blight – Once it’s set it will not be moved
i.e Toll Road
Gaynor thanked him and said he had completely nailed that
Just a point forgotten, When Pincher visited the Hopwas Ridge – It was said that when the engineers were first looking at a route, because they thought they had a hill to go over they dismissed it. But because the quarry has been mentioned on this alternative route suddenly they realise not so much earth work has to be done – so this is a worry for us
We have distributed to Coton Green. Drayton Bassett. Hopwas. Mile Oak 350 flyers through doors, So a little disappointed at the attendance, tell as many people as possible, don’t assume people know tell everyone you meet
We need your contact details to keep you informed, Christopher Pincher was asked to attend but he was in London. Tamworth Herald have been informed and said they will come on board but not much action yet – please feel free to contact them – We hope we will have Some acknowledgement in this weeks addition.
Please complete the template letters we have provided or write your own, All the addresses for the letters are on the adjourning literature, As many letters or emails as possible, View the Web site for info
Thank you to Alan Sadler for setting up our Web site, Twitter Facebook etc
Mark Hayes taking pictures – Pictures going around the room to view
Coton and Hopwas Club again did not take any money for the room
Thank people who have offered to help
Jim Bliss – Knows everything about Quarries and gradients
Mike Wright – He will help us to move the HS2 route – but he is in favour of HS2 and will not oppose in principal – He said he thought it was a waste of our time apposing
HS2 – Gaynor acknowledged his comments and said we were aware of his position
Gaynor just confirmed that the government have proposals in place up to HS9. Mike Wright was not aware of this.
Mr Vanstone said he could not agree with Mike and that it was not a waste of time to oppose HS2 he said we just can’t do nothing about it – we have to fight it. If we just sit back the government can say that no one objected to it –Its not just us affected it goes all up the country.If they have hundreds of letters of objection – people saying what is the justification for HS2 – lots of holes in his opinion in the government’s proposals and we don’t need HS2. Mr Vanstone suggested people go on HS2 web site read the details and see if they agree or not If you don’t let them know. If in the end the Government have their way, then we need to look at the best route .Nothing at the moment convinces Mr Vanstone that HS rail will help the economy of this country.
Someone asked if we had time to do anything and Mr Vanstone said this was the problem as the government seem very committed to this HS2 scheme, but we have to try.They still have to have a Bill and put it through parliament which they have scheduled for 2017 to commence in 2019 – in 7 years a lot can happen. The design of this route is not complete yet – they have still got to do this sustainability programme which will look at the detail of the impact of the community – There is still a long way to go – Go on their web site and it tells you they are not there yet with details – But we need to let them know our objections
Les Armstrong said that Mott McDonald had just been appointed design engineer for the track – not the route. Mr Vanstone said that was a very good reason for putting in all your objection letters. Saying you say you are consulting with us, but you are then awarded contracts for part of the work to people !
Claire Bennett said we couldn’t at this stage get bogged down in this type of detail – we had to oppose the route because of the shortness of time. Mr Vanstone acknowledged this
Gaynor said any questions we cannot answer we will go away and find out – post on blog etc
Claire Bennett thank everyone for attending, asked for any ideas, help etc