High Speed Rail – HS2

Amersham is on the route of High Speed Rail – HS2.

Originally, the route was to run under the Old Town and emerge next to St Mary’s School. However the route has now been revised – possibly due to the lack of foundations of the old buildings – and the train will now pass south of Old Amersham, passing under the top part of Shardeloes Lake. The train will emerge from the tunnel West of Hyde Heath in Mantles Wood, close to Great Missenden – a matter of concern not just of the residents of that parish but to Amersham too.

Amersham Town Council supports the proposal of an extended tunnel to protect the ancient forests of the Chilterns and the area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

A petition from Amersham Town Council was presented on 23rd September 2015 to the High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Bill Select Committee. ATC’s petition was one of many dealing with the issues in relation to tunnelling in the Chilterns AONB. Bucks CC has prepared a useful summary of this phase of petitions (PDF, 1.8MB). It lists the main ‘asks’, listed in order of preference:

  1. Fully bored tunnel, edge to edge through The Chilterns.
  2. Extension to the existing Tunnel and the Green Tunnels through The Chilterns.
  3. Additional noise and visual mitigation measures effective in the operational phase; and
  4. Construction phase mitigation measures, such as traffic control and air quality.

Amersham Town Council’s detailed petition endorsed all these concerns, but concentrated in particular on the extremely adverse impacts on above-ground construction on the Amersham economy and community, and on key services. In particular, we expressed frustration at the failure to develop a construction logistics strategy to deal effectively with the spoil the project will generate, or the materials it will require. Further congestion of already busy roads and excessive levels of air pollution are inevitable.

Click to download a copy of ATC’s September 2015 petition (PDF, 5.9MB).

Click here to view Amersham Town Council’s earlier Petition.

Link to Commons HS2 Select Committee page.

Images by Mark King Photography

The stunning images on this page are by Amersham-based Mark King Photography.

It is generally known that HS2 will be built through the Chiltern Hills, designated an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ (AONB) in 1964. Mark King’s ground-breaking project, using state-of-the-art lasers, give a graphic demonstration of how this beautiful landscape could be irrevocably transformed.

The current proposed HS2 route is illustrated by using 2 lines to replicate the concept of train tracks. The lasers are mounted on a custom built platform separated by the width of the planned track gauge. They are then projected along the exact planned path, using GPS, various maps and calculations to determine precise coordinates and locations.

Lasers are very difficult to see with the naked eye and impossible to photograph during the day – due to daylight being brighter than the laser beams themselves. After extensive research and testing, Mark has pioneered a technique which allows the lasers to be seen in what appears to be daylight. This unique approach enables him to capture the lasers in-camera and in the same frame as the background landscape.

The project has been so well received by the press and public that Mark is now planning new work beyond the Chilterns. The next locations on his radar are Denham, Wendover and Aylesbury and from there he will head further north towards Birmingham.

Mark King Photography:
Tel: 07773 773 897
Web: www.markkingphotography.com

laser photography by mark king - shardeloes lake HS2 Route: Shardeloes Lake – Mark King Photography laser photography by mark king - south heathHS2 Route: South Heath – Mark King Photography laser photography by mark king - sibleys coppice HS2 Route: Sibleys Coppice – Mark King Photography