HS2 ‘ignoring’ public on route, campaigners claim

HS2 Ltd will host a series of public consultation events.
HS2 Ltd will host a series of public consultation events.

HS2 developers are not listening to the public, campaigners have claimed ahead of a consultation on the future of the project.

Representatives from HS2 Ltd will visit Hemsworth Community Centre later this month to present the plans and design for the route.

But critics of the scheme said the firm was not listening to residents.

Crofton Against HS2 chairman Jonathan Pile said: “There is no confidence in HS2 listening to what people have to say on the most important issues.

“A lot of people are boycotting and not coming down to these meetings now. They are just sick of being ignored.”

But Mr Pile said people should still come to the consultation and have their say despite reservations about the process. HS2 said the consultation events would show residents how it planned to minimise disruption and would give people affected chance to make their voices heard.

The Hemsworth section of the route covers 13km of the line, extending from South Kirkby to Crofton and Sharlston Common.

Hemsworth and New Crofton are among the areas covered by the route. Twelve roads will be permanently closed, realigned or diverted, along with 13 public rights of way and four watercourses.

Construction noise is expected to have “significant effects” on residential communities closest to the construction works at South Kirkby, Brierly, Hemsworth, Kinsley, Newstead, Fitzwilliam, New Crofton, Foulby, Crofton, Sharlston, Sharlston Common and New Sharlston.

Mr Pile said construction work planned for Doncaster Road would have a significant effect on Wakefield.

Leonie Dubois, HS2’s head of consultation and engagement, said: “High speed rail will play a crucial role in rebalancing Britain’s economy – driving business growth, stimulating investment and creating jobs right across the country.

“Through the public consultations, we are providing a more detailed account of how we propose to build the railway and minimise its impacts during construction and operation.

“We actively encourage people to have their say on the plans.” The meeting will take place November 22, 2pm-8pm.