HS2 Assurances for Wendover

Buckinghamshire County Council have been given Assurances relating to HS2. Money from HS2 Ltd is available to pay for these very specific projects.

  1. A cycleway/footpath that will create a route from the Small Dean/ Dunsmore Lane area, cutting down into the Hale Rd, to Wendover and onward, on an improved iteration of the existing shared space, towards Aylesbury. This is a £400,000 scheme that will create a link for pedestrians, cyclists and mobility scooter users to travel in safety from the centre of Wendover to the London Rd. There is now some timing issues with this proposal as HS2’s design for the Small Dean viaduct over the A413 seems to leave no room for a cycleway at present.
  2. The £1.5 million project to erect 4m high noise barriers along much of the A413 Wendover Bypass, on the northeastern side, from the southern roundabout to beyond Folly Bridge. Modelling shows a significant reduction in traffic noise, particularly the noise from engines, transmissions and exhausts. That’s the main noise associated with HGV’s and motorbikes. HS2 Ltd estimate that HGV traffic will increase by a minimum of 70% during 2 to 3 years of the railway’s construction. The scheme benefits a great number of residential properties, St Mary’s Church and the Chiltern Way Academy roughly anywhere between Aylesbury Rd, South St and the Bypass.

The upside is that a great many homes, the church and the Academy will be quieter if the barriers are built.

The downside is that the barriers may be visually unattractive. They are though, largely invisible from homes and from most of Wendover. Careful planting and design can reduce the visual impact on motorists and walkers. When it comes to ugliness though the barriers will be dwarfed by the scale and impact of the HS2 build.

What about Low Noise Surfacing?

As a Parish Council, having considered the technical reports and taken advice from the Highway Authority, we accept that the barriers offer a benefit. One man has suggested that Low Noise Surfacing (LNS) is more effective.

LNS absorbs the rolling component of traffic noise. Tyre noise in the main. That’s fine for high speed roads and clean roads. The A413 is to become a main route for tippers full of mud. It’s unlikely to be either high speed or clean. Cleanliness is important as clogging the voids in LNS stops it working and it’s difficult to clean.

For road safety reasons the Parish Council has resolved to work with BCC to get the speed limit on the bypass lowered during the HS2 construction period. This should also reduce traffic noise. We also resolved to ask for LNS when the HS2 project is finished and the road will no doubt need resurfacing before it gets back to normal.

For clarification

  1. This is a Bucks CC project.
  2. The Parish Council and the Wendover Society supports it.
  3. The HS2 Money is for Cycleways and Noise Barriers.
  4. There is no money allocated to alternative surfaces.
  5. Alternative noise mitigation such as low noise surfacing is not as good as barriers for low speed HGV noise.
  6. Engineers at HS2, Bucks CC, Jacobs and Others who have look at it calculate the barriers reduce traffic noise better than suggested alternatives.
  7. No action is an option. That’s no barriers or no cycleways, they are not linked, and the allocated money remains with HS2 Ltd.

In the end it will be up to you. Residents of Wendover will be asked to comment, through a Bucks CC consultancy process, on these two proposals. Please take part.

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