'Keep high-speed rail out of Ealing' demo planned for Friday

Ealing Times: Campaigners say rail link should run via Heathrow Campaigners say rail link should run via Heathrow

NORTH Ealing Against HS2 will hold a demonstration next Friday, October 12, against plans for the high-speed rail to be built through Ealing.

The campaign group is opposed to any interference in Ealing from HS2 and has been protesting against it for a year and a half.

Committee member Eddie Pawley said: “We are upset at the way the Government is handling the situation. They are rushing through the plans and not giving enough thought to the people who will be affected.”

Their concern is that the project will cost more than the £16.3bn estimated for phase one (London to the West Midlands) and that the construction and noise will disrupt residential areas.

The railway would particularly affect the Hanger Lane gyratory – one of the busiest vehicle interchanges in London – which would have to be rebuilt, along with 18 bridges.

Ealing Liberal Democrat Tony Miller has recently called for the Government to reconsider building a direct link for HS2 between Heathrow and Central London, rather than disrupting Ealing.

He said: “The present plan to bypass Heathrow will be far more damaging to the environment and to local communities.”

Ealing Council opposes the plan to run HS2 through the borough but is supporting new plans for it to be tunnelled, which they say would cause less disruption.

Cabinet member for Transport and Environment, Cllr Bassam Mahfouz, said: “A tunnel needs to be seriously considered and is the clear preference of residents from Northolt, Greenford, Perivale, Ealing and Acton to alleviate the serious issues they face.”

Mr Pawley said the recent proposal of a tunnel is an improvement but still feels that the project is badly planned and NEAHS2 will continue to campaign for it to bypass Ealing entirely.

NEAHS2 is the Ealing branch of the national campaign group, Stop HS2, which includes authorities from London to Birmingham that will be affected.

The demo will begin at 7.30am beside the A40 at the Hanger Lane gyratory.

For more information, visit www.ealing-against-hs2.co.uk

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