HS2 – How to Respond: Environmental and Equality statements

Please tell HS2 what YOU think

1. First, about their HS2 Environmental Statement “ES”

This guide is to assist Packington residents to respond to the HS2 Environmental Statement. 

The Environmental Statement describes the impact of building and operating HS2. The Packington Residents group have identified a number of key concerns that, if left unchallenged, could have a fundamental impact on the village and peoples overall well being.

To enable residents to respond to the Environmental Statement, HS2 Ltd, have provided residents with a ‘Response Form’ to complete. This form must be sent back to HS2 Ltd no later than 21 December 2018. When completing the Response form, tick the box marked LA03 – Appleby Parva to Ashby De La Zouch.  ( they may ignore your response if you  don’t make a note of which section of the line you’re responding about).

Also, please personalise it – say how it will effect you and your family.

To access the ES Response form, see below or click here .

The key concerns to include in  YOUR ES Response form are:

Construction Phase:

  • HS2 are proposing closing Ashby road – bridge for vehicles for 19 months. We must make it clear to HS2 that this is unacceptable. We’ve been successful in getting a commitment from HS2 that there will be pedestrian access but are pushing for a temporary bridge for vehicles.  Residents of all ages access Ashby via this route and loosing this route will particularly impact those needing to access the doctors or schools in Ashby.  It is technically viable to provide a temporary road crossing, it will cost HS2 money to do so, but we need to point out the impact on residents if we lose this access.  
  • HS2 plan to use village roads for construction traffic – to include; Measham road, Bridge street, Normaton road, Coleorton lane, Ashby road & Vicarage lane. I’m sure we can all imagine the noise, pollution and danger of this and must again make it clear that we are not prepared, as a village, to accept this.  We propose a haul route along the route of the line to avoid/ minimise the need for construction traffic through the village. 

  Key Concerns during the operational phase : 

  • We oppose the large Viaduct over the Gilwikhaw. This will be a huge concrete construction, which will be 8 metres high ( the height of four  double-decker buses)  and blight the village views forever. It will actually increase the traffic noise from the A42, as the noise will pass under the viaduct.  We have requested HS2 find an alternative solution and have proposed that they substantially lower the line so rather then a 8 metre high viaduct, they create a short bridge to go over the Gilwiskaw. 
  • By reducing the height of the line it would then be possible to cut and cover Plants hill; using the spoil to form a large embankment/sound bund which would substantially reduce the noise and visual impact of HS2.
  • The risk of a lower line is the cutting in Plant’s Hill is larger, so we are asking for the land to be shaped around the entrance to the cutting to minimize destroying the view out from the village, especially from the top of Mill Street at High street.
  • We are also asking HS2 for photomontages of the before and after views from the top of Mill street (the heart of Packington and of the conservation area) – these have not yet been included on the list of photomontages HS2 will produce.
  • On Ashby road, although HS2 line is in a shallow cutting, there are no sound bunds (earth barriers) to reduce the noise – just a hedge planted to hide the fence and line a little bit visually. We are pushing for sound bunds to reduce the train noise and trees to hide the girders that hold up the railway’s overhead electric wires.

Concerns during the construction and operation of HS2 

Noise pollution and mental well-being – HS2 Ltd have not been transparent about the likely impact of noise generated by HS2 during the construction and operation. It is worth reminding people that trains will travel over 250 miles an hour, every 3 minutes (19 trains an hour). 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has a threshold of 44 decibels to be a reasonable sound at night and 54 decibels during the day. According to HS2 Environmental Statement regarding noise “no quantitative assessment has been undertaken during the construction of HS2” (P203 13.2.3)

They have left it to ‘Professional Judgment” as to what the noise could be. This is unacceptable, as we know how professionals can get it wrong. The noise from building sites can far exceed what the WHO consider safe, especially using giant earth trucks and pile diggers. HS2 have not include the noise of lorries regularly passing through the village.

HS2 admit that when the train is operational the noise from HS2 “could’ reach 90 decibels at 50 metres, which according to WHO is harmful to health. What HS2 do not say, is that no one knows what the level of noise of trains traveling over 250mph will be, because no traditional high – speed passenger train currently travels at that speed. There are very real concerns from some experts that the noise created from the trains pantograph (the device that connects the train to the over head wires) could cause serious noise pollution. They have already caused noise issues in other countries with trains traveling at slower speeds then HS2. There are reports that the high-pitched noise from the pantograph can be heard over a mile away.

Reducing noise is going to be essential for the mental well being of residents, especially children and older people who are more susceptible. This is why we are determined that HS2 implement the mitigation measures we are putting forward.

Download the ES Response Form here

or Telephone HS2: 08081 434434 (free phone) 

Any problems?  ring Terry Hammond 01530 415764 or [email protected].

Don’t forget also to complete the Environmental Response Form, below:

2. Secondly, about their HS2 Equality Impact Assessment Report “EqIAR”

This sheet is to assist Packington residents in responding to the HS2 Equality Assessment Impact Report. 

The Equality Impact Assessment Report considers the potential effects of the construction and the operation of HS2 on protected characteristic groups. These groups are defined by the Equality Act 2010 and includes; Age, disability, race, religion (see act for full list).   The Packington Residents group have focused on ‘age’ as we believe this represents an area where the biggest inequality exists with regards the construction and operational of HS2 on Packington.

In order to respond, HS2 Ltd have provided residents with a ‘Response Form’ to complete (see the link to the response form below). When completing the Response form, tick the box marked LA03 – Appleby Parva to Ashby De La Zouch.  ( they may ignore your response if you  don’t make a note of which section of the line you’re responding about)

Also it is important that you personalise it – say how it will effect you and your family.

This form must be posted or emailed back to HS2 Ltd no later than the 21 December 2018 (To access the Response form see link below).

Completing the EQUALITY Impact Assessment Response Form – Age

 Older Residents –

Packington has a higher than average number of older residents (31% above 65). HS2 will have an unfair impact on the lives of older residents in the village during the construction phase as well as when the line is operating. 

One of the major inequalities is the closure of Ashby Road which HS2 are proposing will be closed for 19 months. This will dramatically impact the daily lives of elderly residents and their ability to access vital facilities from nearby town; doctors surgery, pharmacy, dentist, shops, banks, library, sporting facilities, entertainment, socialising as well as visits to and from family members. 

Particularly of concern is the ability to access medical facilities all of which are outside the village. Along with the impact on people receiving and attending social care facilities. There a number of people in the village who receive social care at home.

This unfair impact on the lives of older residents is likely to lead to anxiety and an increase in social isolation; which in turn impacts on increased mental health issues – the elderly, already have a higher propensity to mental illness compared to the rest of the adult population. 

The noise during construction and the noise of HS2 when it’s operational will also have unfair impact on the lives of older people, particularly as they spend so much more time at home. Research shows that older people are more prone to being impacted more by noise, which in turn can increase the risk of mental health problems.  Retired residents spend longer in their homes than those residents of working age and will experience more hours a day of disruption.  

Children 

The closure of Ashby Road, and construction, will have an adverse and unfair impact on children of all ages living in the village.

 Secondary school Age children (11-18) 

We have no secondary school within Packington so 100% of these children have to access their school elsewhere. The majority walk to schools within Ashby, via Ashby Road. The closure of Ashby road will also have a dramatic impact on this age group not only getting to and from school but their freedom to get to ‘after school’ activities, visits to friends, accessing leisure and community facilities. 

Primary age children 

Although we have a Primary school in the village this age group will still be impacted, as many come from Ashby, and many from here access clubs and sporting facilities within Ashby.  

Pre School 

We have no pre-school nursery or playgroup within Packington so ease of accessing these facilities elsewhere will impact pre-school age children. 

 Temporary footbridge 

HS2 are considering providing temporary pedestrian access on Ashby Road. Some children and elderly residents may use the temporary footbridge but it will not be suitable for those who cycle to school or those needing to make use of a car. And will not be the safe access those groups currently have.  

We are urging HS2 to relook at the need to keep Ashby Road as an accessible route during construction, by building a temporary bridge for pedestrians and vehicles. 

Other routes into Ashby – We are aware there will be other routes into Packington, but the increase in traffic during construction from vehicles traveling to the site, traffic from the scores of workers working on site and the considerable disruption caused by diverted traffic, will have an unfair impact on children and older residents.  We are seeking guarantees from HS2 that construction traffic will NOT use any of the roads through Packington, particularly through the conservation area. These roads are completely unsuitable for construction traffic and will make the village unsafe for residents. 

Download  the Response form here

or telephone: 08081 434434 (free phone)

Good luck!

NB: Don’t forget to also complete the Environmental Statement WDES! 

Any problems ring Terry Hammond 01530 415764 or [email protected]

TPH 30 Nov18