What is Buckinghamshire Council doing on behalf of residents?
Judicial Review on Buckinghamshire Council’s appeals against six HS2 lorry route decisions. The date for the Judicial Review on Buckinghamshire Council’s appeals against six HS2 lorry route decisions has been confirmed as 8-9 June 2022. The lorry routes the Judicial Review relates to are:
Wendover Green Tunnel
Small Dean Lane, Wendover to the Strategic Road Network
Small Dean Viaduct, Wendover to the Strategic Road Network
Chiltern Tunnel North Portal to the Strategic Road Network, and three worksites at Little Missenden, Chesham and the North Portal to the Strategic Road Network
Amersham Vent Shaft
Buckinghamshire Council has been negotiating hard with Align, HS2’s contractor, to change the proposed designs for the Head House at the Amersham Vent Shaft site. As a result of these negotiations, the Council is expecting to receive revised proposals that are far more sympathetic to its setting on the edge of Amersham Old Town and within the AONB.
Transport, Environment & Climate Change Select Committee Meeting There was a meeting of the Transport, Environment & Climate Change Select Committee on 10 March. Seven senior managers from HS2 attended and gave presentations on the project covering community engagement, the environment and carbon emissions, funding for communities, highways, and planning issues. Buckinghamshire Councillors including Councillor Steve Broadbent, Cabinet Member for Transport, and Councillor Peter Martin, Deputy Cabinet Member for HS2/EWR, questioned HS2 on various aspects of their presentations and the issues raised by the construction project on residents and communities. A full recording of the webcast can be viewed on the Council website. Transport, Environment & Climate Change Select Committee webcast
Construction Commissioner’s Visit Sir Mark Worthington, Independent Construction Commissioner, came to visit Buckinghamshire to meet with Councillors Peter Martin and Frank Mahon, together with Parish Councillors from the Calvert area Phil Gaskin, Roger Landells and Rae Sloane at Steeple Claydon to go through all their issues relating to the HS2 construction works. They visited a property affected by the works and then went on to the Aylesbury Gateway Office for a meeting with Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire Council and Councillors Steve Broadbent and Peter Martin. They discussed the poor engagement by HS2 with both Buckinghamshire Council and its residents; Section 17 applications; unsympathetic and inappropriate design of structures such as bridges; insufficient funding and delays in securing agreement for road repairs and HS2's failure to follow the Code of Construction Practice in relation to gritting. A subsequent visit has been requested for Sir Mark to visit Stoke Mandeville and Wendover in the near future. View the latest report here.
Buckinghamshire Council has secured £500k from HS2 for sustainable travel improvements. Wendover Cycleways Project aims to improve connectivity within the town and therefore help sustainable travel and encourage cycling for shorter journeys in Wendover through the developing cycle network.
Recently completed works include the footway/cycleway widening between Worlds End Lane and Halton Lane and Halton Lane to Castle Park Road. These new wider paths are approximately 3 metres wide allowing pedestrians and cyclists to pass one another safely.
School Access Works include widening the footway/cycleway near Wendover Health Centre and the Wharf Road Carriageway Repairs.
Contractors will also begin cycleway lining works along Lionel Avenue, Dobbins Lane, and Coombe Avenue to improve access to the Station.
The latest updates on the Wendover Cycleway Improvements Project can be found on the project webpage.
Second Tranche of HS2 Road Safety Fund (RSF) The second tranche of the HS2 Road Safety Fund is now open for applications from or supported by Parish Councils. Applicants wishing to apply will need to do so by 31 May 2022. £1.6m is being made available in 2022 from Buckinghamshire’s £3.95m share of the HS2 Road Safety Fund. This funding was allocated by the Department for Transport in recognition of the likely disruption to communities that are not used to the volume and impact of heavy traffic associated with major construction works such as the HS2 project. The funds are expected to be in high demand so schemes to be funded will be carefully selected to benefit the communities that have been most significantly impacted by HS2 construction and to maximise the long-term road safety benefits across the county. For more information, including fund criteria and guidance for applicants, please visit the HS2 road safety fund webpage for more information. Queries should be sent by email to email@example.com
Roadbridge has gone into administration
Construction firm Roadbridge UK has gone into administration due to an acute cashflow shortage. The firm which employs approximately 215 people in the UK, was working on two HS2 sites where hundreds of its staff were sent home last week. The firm’s contracts on the project were worth up to £60m. The largest contract was a joint venture with Tarmac working for HS2’s contractor EKFB. Roadbridge was also working on a smaller contract as a subcontractor to Align, another of HS2’s contractors.
An HS2 spokesperson said “Roadbridge UK was delivering a number of subcontracts for our main works contractors both directly and as part of a joint venture with Tarmac. Contingency plans are in place and talks ongoing with Tarmac who remain responsible for delivery contracts signed by the joint venture. We are monitoring the situation.”
Roadbridge, which is based in Welwyn Garden City, said “The majority of the employees have been temporarily sent home, pending further updates whilst a strategy for the administration is being reviewed.”
Rob Parker, a Director at the receivers Grant Thornton, said “It is very disappointing that efforts to save the company and other companies within the RBL group from insolvency were not successful and our efforts now turn to supporting the company’s employees during this difficult time and seeking to maximise asset realisations for the benefit of the company’s creditors.”
Search for new Chair of HS2 Ltd relaunched
The search for a new Chair to head HS2 Ltd has been relaunched with updated criteria for the role to appeal to leaders from a wider field of sectors and backgrounds to take on the challenge of leading this transformational project. Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, relaunched his search on 9 March for a Chair to lead the way in driving forward Europe’s largest infrastructure project.
HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson, said “The Chair of HS2 Ltd is one of the most important transport jobs in the UK sitting at the helm of a project that will deliver on the Government’s promises to boost connectivity, level up communities across the North and Midlands and help the nation build back better. We’ve relaunched our search with new criteria designed to ensure we recruit the best and brightest candidate, ready to take on the challenge and drive forward transformation across the nation.”
This comes as Secretary of State for Transport appoints Sir Jon Thompson as Deputy Chair of HS2 Ltd. The new Chair will build upon the work already undertaken by HS2 Ltd and the former Chair Allan Cook CBE.
Opening on new railhead
HS2 announced the opening of a new railhead on the Princes Risborough trainline will allow a further 285,000 tonnes of aggregate needed for construction work to be delivered by rail over the next four months. This will take the equivalent of 28,500 lorries off Buckinghamshire’s roads and save 9,680 tonnes of carbon emissions.
Paul Marshall, Senior Project Manager for EKFB IPT said he is, “really pleased by the progress we have made – working closely with network rail, EKFB and the Rail Freight Operators to deliver more material by rail to our construction sites across Bucks. It is important that we cut the amount of embedded carbon in construction and work to reduce the number of lorries on local roads.”
Press Launch of EKFB Mobile Visitor Centre
The Mayor of Brackley, Cllr Don Thompson, cut the ribbon to officially launch EKFB’s mobile visitor centre in Brackley on 8 March. He said, “I welcome the launch as it will give an opportunity for our residents to ask questions, voice any concerns and gather information they require.”
The specialised vehicle will enable EKFB to increase the reach and visibility of their local engagement team with the aim of providing communities a safe comfortable space where they can find out more about the HS2 project and the work of their contractor EKFB. The vehicle has wi-fi, a large screen for accessing presentations and the internet and a seating area with a second screen for connecting to laptops for meetings.
Buckinghamshire Council have suggested some initial sites such as Great Missenden, Padbury/Steeple Claydon but EKFB are inviting suggestions for future locations. Over the next month local residents are invited to meet the EKFB team at:
23 March: Greatworth
24 March: Coldharbour, Aylesbury Coldharbour Community Centre HP19 7HT
29 March: Wendover, Manor Waste HP22 6EP
31 March: Steeple Claydon Village Hall, MK18 2PY
Pre-booking is not required, and people are free to drop in at any time. Please check the dates on the HS2 events page before attending in case of any changes. Future dates will be advertised on HS2 events – High Speed 2.
If you would like to suggest a location for a visit please contact them through the HS2 helpdesk via
email to HS2Enquiries at HS2enquiries@hs2.org.uk
Freephone 08081 434 434
Minicom 08081 456 472
Post to FREEPOST, HS2 Community Hub
HS2 ongoing work You can see the work that is taking place in Buckinghamshire on the HS2 website, ‘In Your Area’ section, (Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire) and sign up for automatic alerts. HS2 Ltd or contractors are committed to send out Advanced Warning Notices 2 weeks ahead of works commencing.
Buckinghamshire Council HS2 coordination team
Jackie Copcutt firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01296 383793
EWR and HS2 enquiries Mailbox and to contact the Buckinghamshire Council marshals EWRANDHS2enquiries@buckinghamshire.gov.uk
HS2 Ltd Helpdesk
Email to HS2Enquiries at HS2enquiries@hs2.org.uk
Freephone 08081 434 434
Minicom (used to help people with hearing or speech difficulties) 08081 456 472
Post to FREEPOST, HS2 Community Hub