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Lack of planning by HS2 ltd meant that people were turned away from HS2 event


At least 1,075 people streamed into the Appleby Park Best Weston Hotel yesterday to see what information they could glean from HS2 Ltd over the proposed new ‘East’ route for the High Speed Train around the Measham area.

After allegedly booking a bigger venue this time, rather than use the Measham Leisure Centre which had been used previously for a similar event, the organisers found themselves in a smaller venue and having to cater for more people. The Hotel’s car park had run out of available parking places by 4.30pm, so people were then directed to use the Macdonald’s car park over the other side of the busy A444, which, as it got dark on an already gloomy day, became a nightmare to cross. So many people turned up that by 6.30 entry into the information event was being restricted as it was over-crowded and by 7.15pm, people were being denied entry for an event which was not due to close until 8.00pm.

Sonia Liff, Chair of MAPA HS2 Action said

"We told HS2 in advance that the hotel was not a suitable location for an information event. There is no public transport to there from any of the villages affected and even people in Appleby were unlikely to walk there.

People coming in the evening were told that the car park was full and they had to park in the McDonalds carpark. This involved walking in the dark along unlit slip roads without pavements and across the busy A444 in the dark. This was dangerous.

MAPA wanted to talk to those attending the event to tell them about our local group. The hotel staff told us that we were not allowed to do this inside the hotel or even in the carpark or as this was "private land". HS2 should have chosen a community facility in Measham that people could walk to and where there would have been an opportunity for a legitimate community group to talk to those attending."

The high number of people attending despite these difficulties shows the scale of concern about proposals which isolate rural villages between the A42 and HS2, destroys local jobs and houses and subjects residents from Austrey to Packington to noise and visual impact. It also comes very close to community facilities particularly the Measham cemetery and the Sir John Moore school in Appleby.

MAPA hopes the apparent lack of concern on the part of HS2 Ltd about whether residents can safely attend such events, is not an indication of how little is the value they put on engaging with those members of the public affected by HS2.

 

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