With acknowledgement to Mix 96:
Buckinghamshire’s getting more out of HS2, to try and make things better for people living here when the line’s built. After a whole load of negotiations, improvements HS2 will pay for include £80k to help traffic around Waddesdon, safety measures around Great Missenden and half a million just for cycle paths near the line in Wendover.
We already had a list of assurances from the group before, so this is on top of those. The idea’s that these mitigation measures – as they’re known – will mean the train line won’t harm our environment and communities as much as originally thought.
So what have we got for our local area?
- A commitment not to use the section of the A40 between junction 5 of the M40 and A40/A4010 for construction traffic.
- HS2 to deliver 450m of footpath on the A413 London Road, Wendover connecting residents of London Road to the current footpath near the London Road roundabout.
- A mitigation package for Great Missenden: Safety measures including the upgrading of the roundabouts at Link Road and Frith Hill and a safety barrier for the skate park; a £500,000 contribution to the new coach and car park at Great Missenden Church of England Combined School; £500,000 worth of temporary landscaping; £250,000 towards replacement free-car parking in the village.
- Wendover public realm enhancements: HS2 to undertake early tree planting; up to £500,000 towards cycle improvements on the A413 to the north and south of Wendover.
‘Like pulling teeth’
The mitigation was secured after intense negotiations with HS2 Ltd in the days running up to Buckinghamshire County Council leader Martin Tett’s appearance at the House of Lords last week.
Martin 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.
“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 are a fully bored tunnel for Wendover, the relocation of the haul road for Great Missenden and surrounding villages and mitigation to reduce the impact of construction vehicles in Iver.
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. Mix 96
[Great Missenden Parish Council are due to present on 8 November]