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Mitigating construction impact where HS2 and East West Rail cross - Lib Dems' Ian Metherell reports

March 6, 2017 8:31 PM

HS2The HS2 rail line was given was given the final go-ahead by Parliament late last month (February).

It will cross the forthcoming East West (Oxford to Cambridge) Rail line (EWR) somewhere around Calvert/Charndon near Grendon, in North Buckinghamshire, in the Buckingham constituency.

HS2 has a large construction depot planned at Calvert, while EWR intends to site a depot a mile or so away at Charndon.

It is only recently that managers at both the HS2 and EWR projects have begun to talk to each other. However the message seems to be that they cannot combine their two depots in order to minimise disruption during construction.

Ian Metherell, Marsh Gibbon Parish Council chairman, a LibDem member and former councillor on AVDC, was at the public meeting with EWR in Charndon, on March 2nd, (2107).

These are Ian's thoughts.

"It was a well-organised and well-attended event, filmed for posterity!

Charndon Parish Council had sent questions in advance to the East West Rail Alliance, HS2, Bucks CC and AVDC to enable them to respond in detail and to take follow-up points. After answering those questions, the meeting was open to the public. Minutes will be published soon.

Now that the HS2 Act has received Royal Assent, the focus was largely on EWR and its plans. EWR is several years behind HS2, and the detail is still lacking in their programme; this makes integrating the EWR compound with HS2 difficult.

The current plan is for an EWR compound to be based on land opposite the Charndon Community Centre, operational for 2.5 years from early 2019 to mid 2021. It would have 200 car park spaces, but no residential accommodation.

There will be more details available for public consultation in May, including a Construction Traffic Management Plan. It was stated last night that the County Highways and EWR Alliance do not intend to route construction traffic through Marsh Gibbon and Main Street, Charndon - preferring to route via the A41 and through Edgcott, turning left onto School Hill; as for HS2 construction traffic.

It will be more difficult to influence workers' routes to work. There is the possibility of new footpath and traffic calming measures in Charndon.

The environmental impact statement is being revised now that the decision has been made that EWR will run diesel rather than electric trains.

A small compound is planned for the borders of Charndon/Marsh Gibbon to enable work to be done on the railway bridge on Station Road.

It was proposed last night and we welcomed the suggestion, that a monthly Parish Council liaison meeting be held for the parishes affected by these plans."