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Hampstead takes High Speed 2 rail fight straight to David Cameron

Heath Street is one of the roads that will see significant increases in HGV traffic. Picture: Nigel Sutton Heath Street is one of the roads that will see significant increases in HGV traffic. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Thursday, February 6, 2014
5:00 PM

Shopkeepers, business owners and residents in Hampstead have vowed to take their fight against the government’s controversial High Speed 2 rail link straight to the Prime Minister after launching a petition calling for the project to be scrapped.

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Members of the Heath and Hampstead Society and the Hampstead Shops Campaign will travel to Downing Street next month to present a petition calling for David Cameron to “stop HS2 or to consider alternatives” – warning they will take to the streets if ignored.

Issuing a rallying call to the whole of Hampstead to make their voices heard before the February 27 deadline, Jessica Learmond-Criqui, who spearheads the Hampstead Shops Campaign, said: “People in Hampstead may think they’re far away from the ground-zero of HS2 but the impact here will cause mayhem.

“Businesses in our high street are already in a fragile state and this is the last thing they need. Parts of the Northern Line look like they’ll close during construction, which could lead to massive problems with people visiting Hampstead – and the disruption will go on for years. We’re very worried it could lead to redundancies and businesses closing.”

Citing potential damage to Hampstead’s many listed buildings, years of disruptions to school-runs and air pollution ruining its clean-air reputation as “the lungs of London”, traders and residents said the impact could be “devastating”.

Construction could see Hampstead suffer more than a decade of trucks and lorries passing through its streets.

The Heath and Hampstead Society said the proposals could lead to “crumbling streets” and “rising pollution”. and “dreadful” levels of traffic and noise.

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