HS2 given March orders
Company has to prove haul road is best option for area
HS2 Ltd have until March to prove that their traffic mitigation proposals, of a haul road through Uxbridge Golf Course, is the best option for Hillingdon.
Hillingdon Council, MP Nick Hurd, as well as petitioning residents, had their chance to speak at the HS2 Select Committee on Monday January 25.
The committee heard a counter proposal from residents of The Drive to change the location of the haul road so that it
utilises a disused railway line instead of the golf course.
Cllr Ray Puddifoot, Ickenham councillor and Leader of Hillingdon Council, said: “What Hillingdon Council managed to get on the traffic point is for HS2 to look at it again and if we couldn’t come to an agreement then it would go to the Secretary of State for Transport to make a decision.
“By the end of March they’ve got to come up with their definitive plan, with studies, with the number of vehicles that will go down the haul road and proving that it will not cause gridlock.
“They have to factor in the contractor’s vehicles as well, not just the ones removing the spoil. There’ll be a lot of people moving in and out during the day and they need to factor in those movements as well.”
HS2 Ltd was unclear how many HGV movements there would be as it stated a figure of 550 but added that this could ‘go up or down’.
The topic of compensation for Uxbridge Golf Course, West Ruislip Golf Course, and the Hillingdon Outdoor Activity Centre (HOAC) was also discussed.
Mr Puddifoot added: “The focus is nailing them down on the traffic situation, that’s the important thing.
“This is life threatening. It’s going to cause havoc for ordinary people trying to get to work across the A40.
“If it was going to cause a pile up on the A40, that’s the sort of devastating aspect you don’t want, so it is the traffic mitigation that is our priority.”
The Conservative council leader is sceptical about the whole project going ahead and hopes central government will ditch it.
He added: “It’s so poor a business case you couldn’t make it up. It’s abysmal.
“If you’ve got pots of money it’s fine, but when you haven’t got money for schools, roads, flood defences and new hospitals, why on earth we need to get to Birmingham 12 minutes quicker beggar’s belief.”
Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner MP Nick Hurd predicted the next six months ‘will be critical’ in ensuring mitigation for Hillingdon.
He said: “Over many years residents, MPs and the council have campaigned together for Hillingdon to get proper protection from the terrible impacts of HS2.
“Thanks to that work, I can now see a scenario where we will have achieved better compensation; the saving of HOAC; and a traffic solution that we could live with through gritted teeth.”