Action plan over disruption drawn up by East West Rail

Company acknowledges that scale of activities has increased in recent weeks

Monday, 12th April 2021, 8:45 am
Updated Monday, 12th April 2021, 8:46 am
Buckingham MP Greg Smith

After lobbying by Buckingham MP Greg Smith and meetings with parish councillors, East West Rail (EWR) has drawn up a community action plan to deal with the disruption suffered by local residents.

A spokesman for the company said: “The construction of a major project can have undesirable impacts on the local communities and any such impacts must be managed out or mitigated wherever possible.”

EWR acknowledged that “as the scale of activities has increased over the previous months there have been heightened impacts on the communities along the route and that more needs to be done to address this.

“As a result, and in consultation with the communities, and their political representatives, this action plan has been prepared.”

Mr Smith said: “There have been significant issues with the impact of construction of East West Rail on local people.

“Over recent weeks I have been in, at times robust, talks with both the East West Rail Company and the East West Rail Alliance to find a way to re-set the way they work with communities as they build this railway.

“This has included a number of meetings involving representatives of affected parish and town councils, affected businesses and Buckinghamshire Council.

EWR have now produced an action plan to fix the issues we have all been suffering and I will be going through that in detail to ensure it meets the expectations of local people, then holding EWR to account in delivering on it.”

Measures will include providing quarterly updates identifying issues.

The plan states: “The provisions required to maintain the cleanliness of the highways in the neighbouring villages needs to be improved.”

It says more sweepers may be needed.

There will be a campaign of improved communications to drivers advising that ‘20 is plenty’ and liaising with community leads re planned works.

The plan admits there’s a need to listen to feedback concerning future works, and to discuss with Bucks highway team how to improve security over signs being stolen.

There will be new traffic ambassadors to monitor traffic at junctions and in villages.

To improve community liaison there will be a stakeholder communities manager, a strategy to improve community relations, and a new communications manager.

There will be bespoke communication plans for each planned works to inform stakeholders at the earliest possibility – and meetings with stakeholders to minimise disruption, listen to concerns and make changes where possible. Drivers speeding, littering and parking across drives may be excluded.