SPECIAL REPORT: Brackley braced for ‘catastrophe’?

Councillors say the line will affect Brackley more than people think
Councillors say the line will affect Brackley more than people think

The effect of HS2 on Brackley is ‘potentially catastrophic’, according to the pair who faced MPs in Westminster this week.

Councillor Mark Morrell - who campaigns on social media as Mr Pothole - and town clerk Linda Carter pitched a petition presentation at the House of Commons on Wednesday morning.

Brackley HS2 PNL-150225-161002001

Brackley HS2 PNL-150225-161002001

The controversial £50 billion train line will see trains thunder underneath the A43 from the south east of the town to the north west.

But with fears of unacceptable noise levels, worrying emissions and tailback traffic chaos, they hope to convince the Government that Brackley needs extra help to maintain quality of life for families.

Mr Morrell said: “HS2, from watching the programmes, is like having a pond and they are throwing a pebble in there.

“The ripples, they are not interested in.

Computer-generated visuals of HS2

Computer-generated visuals of HS2

“How are our residents going to be able to continue their normal way of life if they can’t get in and out of the town?”

The pair emphasised Brackley’s growing population and how the line will run just 1km from 2,000 new homes across eight new developments.

They highlighted the town’s Formula One connections because of the Mercedes factory and its closeness to Silverstone.

In fact, the town council would welcome a ‘Brackley Silverstone Parkway’ to serve the town and motorsport fans.

The pair asked for assurances that noise and emission amounts will be acceptable, given the soon-to-be elevated A43 will naturally raise levels across the town.

Mrs Carter said: “I’m not sure how they will be planting trees on a viaduct. Maybe they know something I don’t know.

“There is room for manoeuvre, but they will have to throw a lot of money at it.”

The pair have also asked the Highways Agency to carry out a proper traffic-flow survey, which takes into account the construction vehicles moving to and from RAF Croughton.

A ‘sound deadening’ surface on the viaduct has been called for to reduce noise levels and a risk management survey should be carried out to work out effective diversions on major roads.

Changes in traffic flows around the A43 and M40 junctions will cause ‘major’ delays and a likely diversion through Farthinghoe is not suitable for large numbers of HGVs.