Minutes of the HS2 Village Update Meeting led by Wardington Parish Council – HS2 Action Group

Tuesday 15th December 2015

Location: 7.30pm in Wardington Memorial Hall

HS2 Action Group in attendance: Nigel Bankes, George Page, Malcolm Patterson, Charles Holbech & Bob Jarrett.

 

Parishioners: Approximately 40

 

Cllr George Page welcomed all to the meeting and explained that the purpose was to provide the village with the progress made since the last village meeting in July 2015.

 

Nigel Bankes commented on how supportive and helpful  Victoria Prentice MP had been during the project, especially with respect to Oxfordshire County Council and HS2, and that we were now in contact with Transport consultants to aid our case. The Action Group were particularly grateful to Charles Holbech for all his time and commitment so far.

 

Presentation: Charles Holbech talked through the presentation slides, that can be viewed at

http://www.wardington.net/2015/12/hs2-slides/

 

The slides covered the following topics:-

1.    The Petition

2.    Mitigation

3.    HS2 Response

4.    Other Developments

5.    HS2 Traffic – 2021

6.    Measures

7.    Increases (in traffic volumes)

8.    Reasons for increases

9.    Timelines

10.  Graph (showing expected traffic volumes throughout the project)

11.  Result of traffic report

12.  Report conclusions

13.  HS2 Position

14.  Oxfordshire County Council Position

15.  Next Steps

16.  Prospects

 

 

 

The reason for the increase in HGV traffic was due to the movement of soil from Lower Thorpe Mandeville and Turweston, destined for Lower Boddington. This means using the A361 from the M40 junction 11 through Wardington. It is shown that at peak times the volume of traffic will exceed the capacity calculated for the A361 through Wardington. This has also been acknowledged by HS2. OCC are doing nothing and say that HS2 will take mitigation measures, but to date nothing has been announced.

There was still a requirement for an official traffic counter through Wardington to add support to our case.

 

The date for the Select Committee Hearing has been set for the 18th January and we need to produce:-

 

o   Preparation for Select Committee Hearing (18 Jan 2016)

•       Slides

•       Village map/aerial view

•       Annotated additional material

•       Video (showing traffic flow and behaviour)

o   Limited legal advice

o   Witnesses: 1 business, 1 resident?

o   Traffic counter + report addendum

o   Pressure on HS2 to take soil up line.

 

 

Charles Holbech thanked Sam Young for producing the video.

 

In open discussion, after the slide presentation, peoples’ comments supported the findings of the Action Group and the effects that the proposed increases of traffic throughout the project will have on the village, covering road congestion, pollution, noise and vibration. Particular concerns were also voiced regarding road accidents and safety. Disappointment with the OCC attitude was also expressed.

 

With respect to our prospects, following the Select Committee hearing, Nigel Banks expressed that we can only put our case and hopefully the Select Committee will understand and put pressure on Oxfordshire County Council to respond.

 

Regarding the finances for the petition, George Page said that the Wardington Parish Council had used its own reserves and had currently committed expenditure of between £8,000 – £9,000. There was still more expenditure to come for Transport consultants and solicitors and four options were proposed:-

1.    Opt out now to prevent any more expenditure.

2.    Raise the additional finance via the village precept.

3.    Fund raising events.

4.    Take out a Cherwell District Council loan.

 

The preferred option (2), to raise the finance via the precept, which would mean an increase to households of between £15 and £30, raised no objections.

 

Sir Peter Bottomley (a member of the Select Committee) had previously raised concerns regarding Wardington, following the Chipping Warren petition.

 

In a closing summary, Nigel Bankes thanked Charles for the presentation and all those who attended.

 

 

 

 

Meeting closed 8:55 pm