Bucks County Council wins mitigation to reduce impact of HS2
A raft of new measures to reduce the impact of HS2 in Buckinghamshire has been won by the county council.
The mitigation was secured after intense negotiations with HS2 Ltd in the days running up to council leader Martin Tett’s appearance at the House of Lords last week.
It is hoped that peers on the HS2 Select Committee will demand further mitigation in Bucks when they release their recommendations in the New Year.
The latest measures announced are in addition to those won during the House of Commons Select Committee back in January.
The demands include new road safety measures, landscape work to ensure the line is properly screened, assurances to reduce the impact of construction on businesses and community facilities and money towards administrative costs the county council will incur because of HS2.
The mitigation package agreed during October negotiations includes the following measures for Aylesbury Vale:
• Up to £80,000 towards traffic calming measures on the A41 in Waddesdon.
• 450m of footpath to be delivered on the A413 London Road, Wendover connecting residents of London Road to the current footpath near the London Road roundabout.
• A planting scheme for Hawkslade, Aylesbury to screen the rail line.
• £165,000 towards the costs of relocating footpaths in Steeple Claydon.
• HS2 has promised to produce an area specific travel plan for the vicinity of Infrastructure Maintenance Depot in Steeple Claydon.
• An agreement by HS2 Ltd to re-landscape the vicinity around the Infrastructure Maintenance Depot towards Steeple Claydon.
• The relocation of the road access to Great Moor Sailing Club to ensure there is no impact on the number of parking spaces or berths.
• Wendover public realm enhancements - including HS2 undertaking early tree planting and up to £500,000 towards cycle improvements on the A413 to the north and south of Wendover.
• Up to £35,000 towards the administration of the £1m Calvert community fund.
Cllr Tett said he was proud of the way the county had worked with district, town and parish councils to present a convincing case for extra mitigation.
He said: “Securing mitigation from HS2 Ltd can quite frankly feel like pulling teeth, so winning this new package of measures, which will make a real difference to local residents, is a testament to the hard work of the county council and its partners.
“I’ve made no secret of my opposition to this vanity project – and it would be far better if the Government stopped at the £2bn it has already wasted on HS2 without a single piece of track being laid, rather than spend a further £53bn on it.
“The decision to expand Heathrow makes the case for HS2 even weaker, as the line was originally justified as an alternative to the third runway.”
There are three key mitigation measures which have not yet been agreed, although it is hoped the House of Lords will decide to recommend them.
These include a fully bored tunnel for Wendover.
Local parish councils will appear in front of the House of Lords Select Committee over the next few weeks to make their case for further mitigation.
Other measures agreed include a commitment not to use the section of the A40 between junction 5 of the M40 and A40/A4010 for construction traffic as well as packages for Great Missenden, Chalfont St Peter, Iver and Denham.