HS2: Residents' fear and anger in Ickenham

Tom Edwards
Transport correspondent, London
@BBCTomEdwardson Twitter

Media caption,
The line will link London to Birmingham

Ickenham is an affluent, leafy suburb in north-west London.

But now due to the necessities of tunnel engineering it finds itself - along with Camden - at the forefront of the fight against HS2.

The problem for residents in those areas is that the rest of HS2 in London is in tunnels.

So that means the construction work for those tunnels has to be based somewhere - and that somewhere is the tunnel portals at Ickenham and Camden.

It also means HGVs and construction sites.

Campaigners say there could be 700 HGVs a day on the local roads of Ickenham.

And unlike some rural areas no-one in the urban areas can get compensation for "construction blight".

Down the road in Ruislip was at one point at the tunnel portal. But it got its tunnel and now people in Ickenham want the same.

And it is difficult argument for HS2 Ltd to make: why should one area should get mitigation and relief with a tunnel, while another area does not?

Local MP Nick Hurd has weighed in, calling the way HS2 Ltd has dealt with queries about disruption "shambolic".

In a local newsletter he wrote: "It is staggering to me than an organisation being trusted with so much public money could be this incompetent."

He also wants a tunnel extension.

The anger has not subsided in this suburb over HS2 - in fact it has grown.

HS2 Ltd said: "We are committed to managing increases in traffic and will work closely with the highways authorities to minimise disruption, setting new standards for large scale projects.

"A new railhead will be built to the west of Ickenham that will allow large amounts of material to be removed by rail, reducing the number of required traffic movements.

"A longer tunnel was considered but ending the tunnel at west Ruislip offered the best solution from an environmental, construction and cost perspective."

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.