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How to complain

If you are affected by the building of the new high speed railway for Britain and would like to complain, this page will tell you how.

We know that building HS2 will affect the lives of thousands of people. We need many other companies to do work on our behalf and we all aim to be good neighbours every day. But if you’re unhappy about anything we do, or about anything another company does on our behalf, please tell us. We will treat this as a complaint.

There may be occasions when people wish to complain about how we are delivering the new high speed railway.

Your complaint will be acknowledged within 2 working days and we will fully respond within 20 working days.

The complaints process

We have a process to make sure your complaint is dealt with by the right person, as quickly as possible. Please follow this process to help us get the best result for you.

We may choose to provide a tailored complaint service (for example, meeting with you to discuss your complaint) if we feel our complaints process does not suit your needs or there is a more helpful way to fix the problem. We also may speed up the complaints process if we feel it is appropriate.

Please get in touch with us

You can either speak to us or write to us

To speak to us:

Ring our Helpdesk on:

  • Freephone 08081 434 434; or
  • minicom on 08081 456 472 (if you have speech or hearing difficulties).

Our helpdesk is open all day, every day of the year. Please have the following details ready.

  • Your name, address, phone number and email address
  • Details of your complaint and any evidence that backs up your complaint
  • Details of any contact you’ve already had with us about your complaint
  • Your thoughts on how you would like us to put things right

To write to us: 

Download our complaints form and fill it in. You can either post this to us or scan it and email it to us.

To post it to us, put the form in an envelope, address the envelope to FREEPOST HS2 COMMUNITY HUB, and put it in a letterbox. You don’t need any other address details on the envelope and you don’t need to use a stamp.

To email the form to us, please scan the form, attach it to an email and send this to [email protected]

What next?

Step 1: Recording and handling your complaint

Our Public Response Team will review everything that you have told us. They will then decide the best way to handle your complaint.

If your complaint needs immediate attention (for instance, if it involves a risk to safety) we will always deal with it straight away. In any case, we will always acknowledge your complaint within 2 working days of receiving it.

The Public Response Team will investigate your concerns and will speak to other people in HS2 and our partner companies. We may have to pass some of your details on to other members of staff or our contractors to be able to investigate your case fully.

We will then contact you to tell you what we have found and explain what we are going to do to put things right. We aim to do this within 20 working days, though we will always try to be quicker than this. If we are going to take longer than 20 working days we will let you know why and when you will get a full response from us.

We will do our very best to fix your complaint at this stage. If you are happy with our response, this is where the complaints process will finish.

However, if you are still unhappy, we will do everything we can to help. If there is nothing else we can do you can ask us to take your complaint to step 2. What happens next will depend on whether your complaint is about how we are building the railway (construction) or another part of HS2 (services).

Is your complaint related to construction or our services?

There are separate processes for each. Make sure you follow the right option at Step 2.

Is your complaint about construction?

Step 2: Refer your complaint to the Independent Construction Commissioner

The role of the Independent Construction Commissioner is to monitor how we respond to construction complaints and to settle any disagreements between you and us. The Independent Construction Commissioner will review your complaint and how we responded to it. They will then tell both you and us the final outcome and what may happen next.

You can contact the Independent Construction Commissioner by emailing [email protected] or by asking the Public Response team to contact them for you.

The Independent Construction Commissioner’s decision is final. This is the end of the process for complaints about our construction.

Is your complaint about our services?

Step 2: Your case will be reviewed by a member of our Senior Leadership Team

This will be someone who has not already been involved in your case. They will present their findings to our Chief Executive Officer for approval. We will then tell you our final response.

If you are still unhappy, please go to step 3.

Step 3: You can ask to refer your complaint to the Department for Transport's Independent Complaints Assessors (ICA)

If you are unhappy with our final response, please let us know why and what you would like to happen. You can also ask us to refer your complaint to the ICA at this step.

The ICA will investigate whether we have given you a reasonable service and handled your complaint in the right way. They will then carry out their own independent review of your case. They will tell both you and us the result.

If you are still unhappy after the ICA finishes their review, please go to step 4.

Step 4: Ask your Member of Parliament (MP) for advice

You can ask your MP to refer your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman (PHSO).

This is the end of the process for complaints about our services.

Please respect our staff

We will deal with your complaint in a respectful way. In return, we expect the same respect for our workforce. If we think your behaviour is unreasonable, we will make clear why and ask you to stop behaving that way. If you continue, we may take action to restrict your contact with us.

What is not covered by this process

There are some areas that are not covered by our complaints process. This is because there’s already another process in place.

These areas include:

  • matters set out in a contract with us or a company working for us (for example, a licence for access to land or property);
  • matters set out in UK law (for example, the process set out for dealing with blight notices);
  • the valuation of a property that we are buying;
  • matters to do with compensation we are paying as a result of compulsory purchase; and
  • reviews or appeals about decisions under any of our statutory or discretionary property schemes.

Please contact us if you would like more information about what is not covered in the complaints process. There may be other matters that aren’t covered by our complaints process. If your complaint is not covered by our complaints process, we will let you know. We will also give you information about where you should go next for help.

If there has been damage to your land or property and you would like to make a claim, please contact our helpdesk. You can call them on Freephone 08081 434 434 or minicom 08081 456 472. Our helpdesk is open all day, every day of the year.

Continuous Improvement

We value your feedback. It helps us to learn how we can keep making improvements to our services. To help us do this, we may contact you after your complaint has been settled, to ask you how you felt we
handled it.

Independent commissioners

The Construction Commissioner

The Construction Commissioner’s role is to monitor how we respond to complaints about construction and to settle disputes. You can contact the Construction Commissioner by emailing: [email protected]

The Residents’ Commissioner

The Residents’ Commissioner measures us against commitments set out in the Residents’ Charter. The Commissioner does not investigate individual cases or deal with complaints. However, they are responsible for monitoring us, reporting on us and advising us on trends and common concerns. You can contact the Commissioner by emailing: [email protected]

If you are unhappy with the conduct of a Commissioner, you can contact the Independent Complaints Assessors.