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How to complain

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 better way for us to help you. We also may speed up the complaints process if we feel it is appropriate.

Scroll down this page to find out more about the process or take a look at our feedback booklet.

Following UK Government advice for COVID-19, the HS2 Ltd Helpdesk is working remotely. During this time, it may take us a little longer to acknowledge and investigate your complaint. We appreciate your patience during this difficult time.

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 contact us online:

Please visit www.hs2.org.uk/in-your-area/contact-us/contact-form and fill in the electronic form. In the subject field, please say if your contact is a complaint.

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 two working days of receiving it.

Please make your complaint within 12 months of an incident happening or coming to your attention. We may extend the timeframe if there are good reasons that stopped you from telling us sooner.

The Public Response Team will oversee how your concerns are investigated. During the investigation they 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 the outcome of the investigation. We will explain what we have found and 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. You must make your request within three months of receiving the final response to your complaint. We may extend the timescale if there are good reasons that stopped you from telling us sooner.

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 complaints about the building of the railway 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.

Step 3: Ask a Member of Parliament (MP) for advice

If you think that the decision the Construction Commissioner makes on your complaint is wrong, or if you are unhappy with the way the Independent Construction Commissioner treated you, you can ask a Member of Parliament to refer your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman (PHSO).

You can find out who your MP is here: https://members.parliament.uk/FindYourMP

You can find more details about the PHSO here: https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/making-complaint

This is the end of the process for complaints about how we build the railway.

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. We aim to do this within 12 weeks. If we are going to take longer than 12 weeks, we will let you know why and when you will get a full response from us.

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 does not usually look at complaints that are more than three months old. 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 a Member of Parliament (MP) for advice

You can ask a Member of Parliament to refer your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman (PHSO).

You can find out who your MP is here: https://members.parliament.uk/FindYourMP

You can find more details about the PHSO here: https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/making-complaint

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

Please respect our staff

We are committed to creating a safe environment for you to have respectful conversations with us and others.

You can read our respect statement in full

Unreasonable Complaints

In most cases, complaints can be dealt with quickly and efficiently. Sometimes, the behaviour of some people who complain can make investigating and resolving a complaint difficult. It can also be unnecessarily time-consuming, distracting, and a waste of public funds.

We do not expect our staff to put up with behaviour that is intimidating, abusive or offensive, or that hinders us when considering your, or other people’s, complaints. If we feel any behaviour is unreasonable, disproportionate or persistent, we will take appropriate steps to deal with the situation.

For more information please see our Unreasonable, Disproportionate and Persistent Complaints Policy.

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 that are set out in a contract with us (HS2 Ltd) or our supply chain (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);
• complaints about alleged personal injury or damage to property;
• the valuation of a property that we (HS2 Ltd) are buying on behalf of the Government;
• matters of compensation which may be paid as a result of compulsory purchase;
• reviews or appeals about decisions under any of our statutory or discretionary property schemes;
• issues arising as a result of decisions taken by the Select Committee;
• where an undertaking or assurance given by us (HS2 Ltd) on behalf of the Secretary of State to petitioners or Parliament has allegedly been broken;
• complaints about the criteria for property schemes, eligibility and decisions relating to acceptance for property compensation schemes;
• complaints about the Government’s decision to build the railway (we will treat these as a comment);
• whistleblowing ([email protected]);
• complaints about the actions of High Court Enforcement Officers or the National Eviction Team;
• work that is not related to the railway;
• complaints about the refusal or handling of a Subject Access request (a request for a copy of the personal information we hold about you), Freedom of Information Act request, or Environmental Information Regulations request; and
• complaints from members of staff.

Please contact us if you would like more information about what is not covered by the complaints process.

There may be other matters that aren’t covered by our complaints process. If your complaint is not covered by our 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 on 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]

If you are unhappy with the conduct of the Construction Commissioner, you can ask a Member of Parliament (MP) to refer your case to the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman (PHSO).

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 the Residents’ Commissioner, you can contact the Independent Complaints Assessors.