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Ealing North MP James Murray challenges HS2 over delays to Greenford Road utility works

Following concerns from local residents, James Murray, MP for Ealing North has written to HS2 chair Sir Jon Thompson  over concerns that utility works have caused major disruption in the Greenford Road area and are still not completed.

The works, which started in September 2023 were expected to be finished by mid-March 2024 but residents have now been told that the work will continue well into May 2024. Mr Murray himself said that HS2 has been unable to provide a response to his request for a firm end date.

In a recent communication to residents, HS2 said: “We wrote to you last September to explain our works on Greenford Road. We updated you on 19 March 2024, to let you know that these works were due to be completed on by 21 April 2024. Due to an additional requirement to move communication cables that are too close to the gas pipe, we now need more time to complete these works. We now expect to be finished by 14 May 2024. We apologise for any inconvenience.”

Mr Murray’s letter said that locals and himself were “extremely frustrated and irritated, not only by the disruption the works are causing, but also by the constant moving of goalposts by HS2 and the lack of, or inconsistency of, information provided.”

The letter to Mr Thompson asked four direct questions:

  • By what date will the HS2 utility works on Greenford Road now, finally, be finished?
  • What concrete steps is HS2 taking to accelerate the completion date of the works?
  • What compensation is on offer for the local community affected by these works?
  • What other works are planned around Greenford Road once the current utility works are complete?

The letter was also copied to Mark Harper MP,  Secretary of State for Transport asking him to intervene and to Ealing Council.

Mr Murray added: “Lots of people I speak to are extremely frustrated by the disruption these HS2 works on Greenford Road have been causing – and HS2 keep extending them. I have written to the head of HS2, urging them to come clean on what is going on, and to do more to mitigate the effect of these works. It feels like they are taking decisions without a second thought about the impact these works are having on the local community.”

Speaking to EALING.NEWS, an HS2 spokesperson said: “In order to construct tunnels for HS2 we need to divert, maintain and repair a number of utilities that are in its path, including a gas pipe on Greenford Road. To do this safely, we have introduced a lane closure along the road. We are committed to reducing disruption to local residents and road users and have signage and diversionary routes in place to reduce traffic impacts.”

They added: “We have kept the local community and businesses updated about these works regularly through letters, door knocks, and an engagement event. Our works have been extended whilst we complete the diversion of communications cables nearby and a notification has been issued to local residents.”

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