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£480,000 for road safety improvements on HS2 Ltd construction routes

| February 5, 2016

After months of tough negotiations the A4010 campaign group, working closely with Buckinghamshire County Council, has won £480,000 from HS2 Ltd.

The funding will pay for enhanced road safety measures at key sections of the A4010 between High Wycombe and Stoke Mandeville and the A4129 between Thame and Princes Risborough.

Following its success in stopping HS2 Ltd lorries using the A40 between the M40 at Stokenchurch and West Wycombe village, the group continued to lobby HS2 Ltd in a bid to reduce or minimise the impact of construction traffic using other proposed construction traffic routes through Wycombe District.

Lorries travelling to and from the construction of the new rail line will use the A4010 between High Wycombe and Aylesbury and the A4129 between Thame and Princes Risborough.

The campaign group whose members are: Princes Risborough Town Council, Bradenham Parish Council, West Wycombe Parish Council and Wycombe District Council was just one of a large number of communities along the proposed rail route from London to Birmingham to lobby the company to either find alternative routes or agree to pay for mitigation ahead of construction traffic potentially starting work next year.

In their bid to reduce the impact construction traffic will have on local roads within Wycombe District, the group has had several tough face to face meetings with HS2 Ltd over the past year and worked with a local Chartered Engineer with experience in highways and transport who was a former Head of Transport at Buckinghamshire County Council. The group presented detailed evidence to HS2 Ltd and appeared in Westminster before the House of Commons Select Committee in November last year.

The A4010 partnership showed all three tiers of local government – parish, district and county councils working successfully together to negotiate directly with HS2 Ltd.

Speaking for the A4010 group Cllr Katrina Wood, Leader of Wycombe District Council said: ‘This is a bitter sweet result for us. We left no stone unturned in putting up a great fight and acting as a group of four local councils working with Buckinghamshire County Council. We have stopped construction traffic going through West Wycombe village.

We worked tirelessly to try and stop construction traffic using the A4010 and A4129 and whilst we couldn’t persuade them to reroute traffic, at least we’ve come back with HS2 Ltd paying almost half a million pounds for road safety work. This will pay for improved crossings, traffic calming and wider footways and high tech warning signs along key sections of the A4010 and A4129, including outside local schools that directly front onto the routes. These will not only improve the roads for all road users while construction is going on but will also leave a permanent local legacy.

The group has also raised local concerns about the impact construction traffic could have on blue light journeys, particularly ambulances using the A4010. It welcomes South Central Ambulance Trust and HS2 Ltd’s commitment to work together on this to ensure disruption to ambulance journeys along any of the designated construction traffic routes in Buckinghamshire is managed and minimised.

Buckinghamshire County Council will be responsible for delivering the mitigation measures along the route and the parish and district councils will continue to monitor the situation if and when construction traffic starts using the A4010 and A4129.

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