The Rights of Way group have been conducting a long running dispute with HS2 Ltd, and National Grid, regarding the closure of paths GMI/12/1 and GMI/13/3, which run from Great Missenden up to Potter Row. National Grid have been working to replace two pylons around the North Portal of the Chilterns Tunnel, which lies at the top of the new ‘Haul Road’ running up the hill from the Great Missenden roundabout.
The two paths were closed at the beginning of September 2019, and are not due to reopen until next September – see http://www.hs2watch.com/Footpaths.html for the latest information. We complained to National Grid and HS2 that
- The paths were closed several weeks before any work commenced
- They were not reopened while work was suspended over Christmas, or over weekends
- The path closure signs largely disappeared over the winter
- More recently the lower 100m of GMI/13 was diverted, and the new diversion remains closed. No notice was given of this.
After a couple of months we managed to get the ‘path closed’ signs reinstated, although again only with laminated card. We have raised the unadvertised closure of the lower end of GMI/13 with Bucks – this section had previously remained open and connected with another path through Stockings Wood.
While HS2 are legally allowed to do pretty much as they please within the limits set down in the Hybrid Bill, they also claim to act as ‘Good Neighbours’ and to ‘Engage with the Community’. Since the main contractors were given notice to proceed, they have dropped any pretence to do either of these things.
The society is working with Bucks Authority officers to try and establish some sort of dialog with HS2 and their contractors, before the main construction work commences, and with it more widespread disruption.