Caroline spoke up for her constituents, many of whom will be impacted by the construction and accompanying nuisances that the development of HS2 will bring to the Meriden Constituency.
Caroline highlighted the controversy about the proposed flyover at Berkswell station and the paramount need to reduce the impact of HS2 on the Kenilworth Greenway, Balsall Common and the Berkswell area. She also called for an independent review of the options for a tunnel in Berkswell.
Caroline also spoke of her support for an independent HS2 Residents’ Commissioner to work with residents and communities to keep the channel of communication open and ensure that the local concerns continue to be heard throughout the construction process. Caroline raised the plight of a number of individuals and organisations which would be particularly badly affected, including the Island Project School for autistic children in Hampton-in-Arden and residents of Middle Bickenhill who will effectively be marooned among construction works.
Caroline gave a clear message about the negative impact on local residents of the construction works, and emphasised the need to provide compensation for this since the eligibility for most compensation is tied to distance from the tracks and many of the construction sites fall well outside the qualifying distance. Compensation would ensure that any loss of property value or negative impacts on local businesses due to construction nuisance are addressed.
Mrs Spelman commented, ‘I will continue to work hard to attain the best possible compensation and mitigation measures. Establishing a tunnel at Berkswell, ensuring flexible compensation for those affected and maintaining local biodiversity remain my key priorities.’