Dec 12 2011 By Lawrence Poole
HS2 protesters desended on Cheryl Gillan's Amersham office as they continued their campaign but were unable to hand over their petition against the £33bn route as she was not there.
Representatives from the Stop HS2 group gathered outside the Chesham and Amersham MP's office on December 9 to make their feelings known about plans to extend the tunnel for the London to Birmingham route past Amersham at cost of £500m.
The decision on the controversial route has now been delayed until January while transport secretary Justine Greening considers all of the evidence.
Organised by Cllr Seb Berry, a Great Missenden Independent for Chiltern District Council, it was supported by Little Kingshill Village Association and campaigners from Amersham, Little Missenden, Ballinger and Prestwood.
Cllr Berry said: "Local people have been incensed by reports suggesting the prospect of an additional tunnel west of Amersham would be enough to buy off local opposition to the scheme.
"The protest was held to remind our MP local people expect her to be arguing against HS2 right up to the final decision date in January.
"The planned delivery of the petition failed to take place as Mrs Gillan's staff refused to confirm the times of her surgery hours so that it could be handed to her in person - the petition which had received 600 signatures in three days will now be kept open and submitted to Mrs Gillan in a week's time."
Chairman of Great Missenden Stop HS2, Shirley Judges, said: "The impresssion has been given that the tunnel extension solves the problems of the Chilterns AONB - it doesn't.
"What it means is that the tunnel will emerge in the middle of the AONB and there will still be seven miles of cuttings and viaducts beyond it.
"It will still irreparably scar the AONB and and it is still a wasteful and unnecessary project."
Chiltern District Council Lib Dem Group leader Cllr Peter Jones said "It was ironic to be meeting on the day after the crisis talks on the Euro. What part of "we cannot afford this" does the government not understand?"