Last week we reported about HS2, the high speed rail service proposed from London up to the North, since doing so it has experienced focus in the news following government suggestions to offer compensation packets to those living around the rail route.
Initial proposals by the government have been made in which all those living in rural communities 300m of the proposed HS2 route will be given financial compensation, however those living in London will only be worthy of compensation when living within 60m of the route.
The government has argued this difference upon the basis that those living in London will be less harshly affected than those in rural areas by the new rail service. These claims have been made on the assumption that those in London are sheltered from the expected construction problems (such as vibrations, unsightly views, traffic and overcrowding), as they already live in crowded areas where other buildings will drain out such background noise, whereas those in rural areas are much more vulnerable to such effects.
Several London MPs and council leaders have sent a letter to transport Secretary Patrick Mcloughlin in response to this announcement, in which they demand that Londoners receive compensation tailored to them, including ‘adequate’ replacement housing for people who are forced to move as a result of construction or mitigation and compensation for those who chose to stay within their homes.
These demands have been made due to the fact that despite any 'background' noise, a substantial number of Londoners will have to live with the HS2 construction on their doorstep and it is felt they are owed adequate reparation for this.Sarah Hayward, leader of Camden Council, has pointed out that hundreds of residents and businesses stand to lose money as a result of the works, thus supports the demands for a tailored London compensation.
Department for Transport have responded to these arguments by stating that the compensation scheme they have put in place is more than adequate and well in line with legal requirements and is an effective manner of helping those in both urban and rural areas.
Whilst HS2 is a highly anticipated improvement to our countries transport system, the views highlighted in this article show that there will be negative implications and some people will suffer, therefore the government need to take responsibility and ensure that all individuals are given appropriate reparation matching to their troubles.
To be kept up to date on news regarding HS2 and other rail projects in the UK follow our civil/structural team on their twitter page.
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