On 12th July 2012 Ealing Council sent HS2 Ltd an ultimatum - either you develop a tunneling option under the whole distance of HS2 through the London Borough of Ealing or we will stop meeting
with you and move to a position of outright opposition - from Ealing Council's current holding position. This was signed off with a covering letter from the Council's Chief Executive Martin Smith.
Ealing Council's HS2 Consultation response in 2011, which was signed by Ealing Council's leader Julian Bell, Ealing Opposition Leader David Millican and Ealing Council Cabinet member for
Transport and the Environment Bassam Mahfouz, states as follows:
'There is a lack of clear information on the business case and justification for the scheme. Without
this, and without clear benefits to the Borough, Ealing is unable to support the project... There is a
lack of justification for the current route alignment. A view has been expressed that were the entire
route [through London ]in tunnel, it would avoid significant impacts in Ealing... The potential Heathrow "stub end" link suggests a junction in
the Northolt area with a south-facing connection. This is referenced as being located in the area around Willow Tree Primary School and that there will be "some permanent land acquisition".
The Council is concerned about the implications of a Heathrow link and seeks assurances that any future link from the
Northolt area would be entirely tunnelled and not a surface line. The potential impacts on other stations in Ealing such as North Acton and Acton Main Line has not been made clear enough.
The HS2 documentation to date fails to address the problems and opportunities from the planned alignment including wider connectivity and impact, which is a key consideration. Construction of the
retained cut would involve severance of Park Royal Road for construction and the road would be closed for a "prolonged period".Given the significant potential transport impacts of these works, Ealing Council will need detailed plans on how this will be undertaken and managed... The replacement of East Bridge at Hanger
Lane would necessitate a "Comprehensive traffic management regime" so as to keep disruption to traffic to reasonable minimum. The Appraisal of Sustainability states "There would be a risk of
significant disruption to traffic over several months in relation to this work", yet there are no details of how this will be adequately mitigated. There is concern that the significant traffic
disruption would impact over a very wide area....There is a lack of clarity on the effect and impact on land and property in the Borough. It would appear that approximately 60-65 properties are at risk of demolition and around 325 at risk of land take.Clearly, such numbers are significant and clarity on exactly which properties will be demolished, which are at risk of land take and how sufficient
design and construction mitigation can be adopted to minimise impact need to be explored... There is also a lack of justification on what benefits the scheme will bring to Ealing, despite
some of the greatest negative impacts occurring within the Borough... the Council will maintain a holding objection pending further detail.'
Ealing Opposition Leader David Millican has
described HS2 as: 'the wrong kind of progress':
NEAHS2 believes Ealing Council should join the 51m group of councils opposed to HS2. The Director of Strategic Transport at Ealing Council has stated (July
2012) 'rest assured Ealing Council are still exploring options to join 51m.'