Latest Rail News

04.11.14

Alliance claims HS2 compensation unfair for Londoners

A cross-party group of London MPs and council leaders have called on the government to provide ‘A fair deal for London’ on HS2 compensation – signalling further trouble for the controversial high speed line. 

The Alliance, set up by Camden Council, wants adequate replacement housing for people unable to live in their homes during the construction period, mitigation and compensation for residents who remain in their homes surrounded by building works and up front compensation for businesses to offset loss of trade and property values. 

In a letter to secretary of state for transport Patrick McLoughlin, the Alliance calls for a fair and tailored compensation package for London. This comes after HS2 Ltd's Environmental Statement indicates that 95% of homes identified as being significantly affected by either noise or vibration during the construction of HS2 are in urban areas. 

The political representatives in London assert that the inhabitants of urban areas are not being treated as fairly as those in rural areas. 

Under a revised compensation package unveiled in April, homeowners living closest to the proposed route of HS2 will be able to sell their property to the government on improved terms in an express purchase scheme. 

The scheme, which will pay people living within 60 metres of the high-speed rail line 110% of their property’s unblighted market value plus expenses, is part of a revised compensation and assistance package announced after a public consultation. 

Leader of Camden Council Cllr Sarah Hayward said: “London stands to lose the most from HS2, with Londoners set to suffer over a decade of disruption from multiple construction works. Hundreds of residents and businesses are set to be left out of pocket due to the inadequate compensation package proposed.” 

But a DfT spokeswoman said that its compensation and assistance schemes go well beyond legal requirements and offer an effective means of helping people with blight, for those living in both urban and rural areas. 

The Alliance, however, has set up an e-petition asking the government for fair compensation. To view it or sign it, click here

(Image: c. Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association)

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