Wendover Parish Council HS2 update

Big trucks = Big problems
Regardless of whether HS2’s appeal against BC for refusing to approve proposed lorry route is successful, big lorries are going to be a big issue.

HS2 told parliament that vehicles would be clearly identifiable but this isn’t happening. There are no fixed markers to identify an HS2 lorry. They put a white A4 HS2 sign in the windscreen when the drivers comply. Should an incident with a HS2 truck occur it is imperative that identification is easy from all four sides of the vehicle.

For public safety it is essential that HS2 lorries are marked better. Small magnetic or clipped on signs would suffice. Many transport companies subscribe to a “How’s my driving” scheme with a phone number on the rear of their vehicles. That should be a minimum.

Meeting the Minister
Cllr Sheila Bulpett, WPC Chair, and Ron Petersen, Chair of Wendover HS2, met with Rob Butler and Andrew Stephenson (Minister of Transport) at St Mary’s Church, Wendover. The meeting was hosted by Sally Moring, the Vicar of Wendover.

In a 45 minute meeting Sheila and Ron pressed home Wendover’s views on HS2. The minister did not think a mined tunnel would be likely to happen but understood our frustration at HS2’s and DfT’s lack of openness. He acknowledged the beauty of the area and was pushed to consider further mitigation should the current scheme, some aspects of which he was not aware of, be developed.

The minister was left with much to think about and he gave a verbal assurance that if train noise should be above acceptable levels when compared to the ES, that they (Government) would do something about it!

Working Hours
Buckinghamshire Council has refused an application from EKFB for extended working hours while they develop haul routes around Wendover. It was a mainstay of HS2’s arguments in Parliament that construction would only take place during “normal” working hours.

Time for a Change
Since the Parliamentary hearings on HS2 I have helped where I could to promote Wendover’s interests, always working to get the best mitigation for Wendover. In that time we’ve won all of the arguments and quite a few improvements, we’ve not won the prize though. A tunnel. For a good many years, I have also written this column in Wendover News. Sad to say this is the last of them. Thanks to you for reading them and thanks to the editorial team at Wendover News for the space. Thanks also to David Ball and Bob Lewis for the technical support and friendship over the years.

Tom Walsh
Chairman of the WPC HS2 Working Group