NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS.

OUR AREA SEEMS TO HAVE BECOME A MAJOR FOCUS FOR MULTIPLE NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS ON TOP OF MAJOR LOCAL INITIATIVES. 

After years of HS2 & EWR both working independently from the other and seemingly disregarding the cumulative effect of both of their projected traffic flows along the same construction routes to multiple depots in our area, they now seem willing to recognise the appalling consequences their activity may have on local quality of life.

Thanks to the perseverance of Cllr Macpherson of Buckinghamshire Council and the many local parish councils that will be affected, a Buckinghamshire HS2/EWR Working Group has been formed, comprising representatives of Buckinghamshire, police & local parish councils and, crucially, both HS2 & EWR are committed to engaging with it via a single point of contact for both projects.

The first meeting was held on 6th October and action notes are available. The next meeting is scheduled for 12 November when, hopefully, the many questions raised will be addressed in some way. If you have any comments use the Buckinghamshire web site or the contacts form on this web site.

In addition, our MP Greg Smith has written to the Chief Executive of HS2 Ltd condemning their "horrific behaviour" regarding consequences of HGV traffic & environment destruction.  See the Notice Board on this web site.

High Speed 2 (HS2)

High Speed 2 is a new railway which will run from London to Birmingham. The route runs approximately 60km through the county.

Although the HS2 bill is going ahead, as an organisation we still have major concerns.

Keep up to date with the progress of HS2 and view the HS2 Act of Parliament documents.

Our legal challenge against HS2

In 2012, Buckinghamshire Council joined 16 other local authorities to launch a legal challenge, known as a judicial review, against the HS2 project. Despite appealing, we were unsuccessful in stopping it.

In 2013, we worked in partnership with other local authorities and stakeholders to create the Buckinghamshire Mitigation Blueprint. This formed the basis for our petition to Parliament.

What's happened since the legal challenge

In February 2017, Phase 1 of the HS2 project started.

Minimising the disruption

A fund of £40m was established by HS2 to bring any benefit to the disrupted communities along the route of construction of HS2.

You can apply on the groundwork website.

Draft construction routes through Buckinghamshire

Buckinghamshire Sheet 1
Buckinghamshire Sheet 2
Buckinghamshire Sheet 3

HS2 mitigation projects

A full list of HS2 mitigation projects are available on our road projects and improvements page.

Contact details

HS2 Ltd
Email: HS2enquiries@hs2.org.uk
Freephone: 08081 434 434

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Oxford to Cambridge Expressway

Where:Oxford - Cambridge via Milton Keynes
When:
  • Highways England have indicated that they anticipated construction to begin in 2025 with completion anticipated in 2030.
Summary:The project will aim to create a route linking Oxford and Cambridge via Milton Keynes.
Status:
  • In September 2018 Highways England announced that preferred corridor that has been selected is the central corridor (Corridor B).

Next Steps:
  • The Chancellor published the Budget in March 20 when the road investment strategy 2, or RIS 2, document that accompanied it moved the expressway project out of the “go ahead” column into the “paused” column. It has been  confirmed that Highways England has not progressed work on the project since.

Background

The Oxford to Cambridge Expressway is a proposed road link between Oxford and Cambridge, via Milton Keynes. The government believes that the Oxford - Milton Keynes - Cambridge corridor is one of the most significant growth areas in the country.

The proposal aims to establish this route by linking existing roads and building new ones. The case for the ‘corridor’ is analysed in a Strategic Study for the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford corridor, published by the National Infrastructure Commission in November 2016.

The Oxford to Cambridge expressway strategic study is one of 6 strategic studies that will inform the development of the second phase of the Government’s Road investment Strategy (RIS 2).

corridor b (central option) had been selected as the preferred corridor for the oxford-cambridge expressway.

The preferred corridor

In September 2018, Highways England announced that corridor B (central option) had been selected as the preferred corridor for the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway. The announcement states that it ‘will run alongside the planned route of East West Rail, so that consumers have a variety of rail and road travel options’.

Please see the written statement to Parliament for the full announcement.

Timeline

Highways England has already completed pre-project work, focusing on strategy, shaping and prioritisation. They are currently looking at identifying options for the corridor. Highways England anticipates that they will undergo public consultation on route in autumn 2019, before the preferred route is announced in autumn 2020.

Following this, Highways England will begin their ‘development phase’ and will apply for planning permission through the submission of a Development Consent Order (DCO) to the Secretary of State. Subject to planning consent, forecasted construction is set to begin as indicated by Highways England in 2025, before anticipated road opening in 2030.

Communities – designated funds

Highways England have funding available through their Road Investment Strategy to provide social, environmental and economic benefits to communities and businesses alongside the strategic road network. BCC will aim to make the best use of these funds and will be pursuing funding for schemes which will benefit local communities as part of the Expressway project. More information on Highways England’s Designated Funds can be found on the Highways England website.

Further information

Oxford to Cambridge Expressway Strategic Study: Stage 3 Report

National Infrastructure Commission Strategic Study for the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford corridor

Oxford to Cambridge Expressway Corridor Assessment Report 2018

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EWR– EAST WEST RAIL HAVE HAD TO CHANGE THEIR NOW DISCREDITED ORIGINAL PROPOSALS AND ADD AN ADDITIONAL CONSULTATION PHASE BECAUSE OF BUDGETARY PRESSURES, FUNDAMENTAL ERRORS, OUR COMMENTS IN EARLIER PHASES, AND CONTINUED LOCAL OPPOSITION.
Their latest consultation phase began on 12th January and the deadline for responses is 9th February 2018. We are at a loss as to how they feel this will be a credible consultation considering we will need HS2 numbers to make an informed decision and these will not be available until March earliest. As part of this consultation, they held local meetings on 16th , 17th ,19th January 2018 at which their amended proposals did identify certain welcome changes - if delivered. Encouragingly, HS2 were in attendance as well.
You can get further details on their web site www.networkrail.co.uk/east-west-rail . You need to click on the link to the Western Section and then scroll to the bottom of the page and click Consultation Hub.


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In summary, changes to the original proposals are:

  • The depot at Charndon has been relocated further from the village towards Poundon and Twyford.
  • This now allows access to the relocated depot via a proposed second construction route for HGVs and LGVs from the A4421 via Godington and Poundon as well as the first one down Broadway which remains.
  • EWR forecast that 75% of construction traffic will use this new route and that the route through Grendon Underwood, Edgcott etc will carry 25% of construction traffic (75% less than originally originally planned).

These are undoubtedly welcome changes to the original proposals that should mean less adverse impact on the villages along the first route during construction.

However, we still cant understand why these routes remain the preferred option over haul roads, as originally planned, that would eliminate local opposition as, even with these changes, EWR still forecast the following additional traffic movements along the route at peak times for some 5 years:

  • 16 HGV movements a day
  • 15 LGV movements a day
  • 50 Staff and operative trips

Note: after some discussion, this means vehicle road movements in either direction.

In addition, these forecasts do not include the increased traffic that will result from HS2 activities in support of the massive IMD depot to be built at Calvert. This is in spite of repeated promises to consolidate these traffic forecasts.

The consultation release does not explain how the proportions of construction traffic have been attributed to each of the two routes. There is no explanation as to what or how monitoring will be carried out to ensure compliance with the forecasts and what sanctions will be imposed for breaching them. Nor is there any explanation of why drivers wishing to travel to and from the Charndon depot will be compelled to use the routes to ensure trips are distributed as forecast. On querying how they would enforce & police this on open public roads, they have no idea. They have committed to consider possibilities but have admitted they have no powers to compel anyone to use any public road in preference to another, even when stipulated contractually.

We have no indication as to what, if any, influence our Buckinghamshire County Council – Highways department, who are members of the working group delivering the projects, has had in arriving at any of these proposals. Whilst the rail part of the project is universally supported we do not know how they have justified an unconditional contribution from public money of some £10million for works that will have such a detrimental effect on their constituents, especially when alternatives are identified & costed.

We did take into account as many comments as we could from our community regarding the earlier proposal and lodged our objection with EWR in August 2017. You can still click here for our letter to EWR


Transport for Buckinghamshire

What Transport for Buckinghamshire does- Details of all our services can be found here

If you need to report a repair, you can do so using Fix My Street

If you think a defect is an emergency and dangerous;

  • Call 01296 382416 (9am-5:30pm Mon-Thurs, 9am-5pm Friday)
  • Call 01296 4866390 (out of hours and weekends)

Emergency repairs are made safe within 2 hours, with a permanent repair at a later date. Depending on the repair needed, other repairs are completed within either 2, 5 or 28 days.

Some repairs will be put on future planned works. Please be aware that not every defect requires repair.

Click here to watch a video regarding the successful resurfacing of Wendover Bypass. Click here to watch a video of one of our biggest, most collaborative and successful projects from 2019, the resurfacing of the Stoke Hammond Bypass

click here to watch a video regarding the 2019 improvements to our online reporting tool, Fix My Street.

What Transport for Buckinghamshire doesn't do

Thames Valley Police is responsible for:

  • Abandoned vehicles
  • Obstructive and dangerous parking

Private Landowners are responsible for:

  • Trees on private land
  • Illegal signs on private property boundary walls
  • Unauthorised encampments on private land.

Utility Companies are responsible for:

  • Damaged Utility covers
  • Water leaks
  • Gas leaks

Individual Developers are responsible for:

  • Issues with development sites
  • Un-adopted roads (roads not owned and maintained by TfB)

Buckinghamshire Council Transport Department is responsible for:

  • Public Transport (buses, trains) - find more information by clicking here

Street Lighting Issues

The term “street lighting” encompasses lighting conforming to street light specifications. "Footpath lighting" refers to other ad hoc lighting not necessarily over footpaths. The Street Lighting Authority is Buckinghamshire Council and it has jurisdiction over all street lights and other associated items of illuminated street furniture provided on the public highway (whether or not adopted by Buckinghamshire County Council), The Footpath Lighting Authority is Grendon Underwood Parish Council. Traffic signals and electrically operated vehicle information signs are subject to different legislation. Each category of road, street, footpath and cycle track has its own specific requirements which will affect the level of lighting to be provided. To ensure that consistency in selecting the lighting levels BC will use the standards as set out in the current British Standards for Road Lighting are, BS 5489 2003 and BS EN 13201 2003.