HS2 Ltd has announced that it will be holding Information Events between 3 pm and 9 pm in St Giles Church Hall, Ickenham on October 13 and Ickenham Village Hall on November 3. They wish to present their conclusions resulting from the Hillingdon Traffic Study carried out with Transport for London (TfL) and London Borough of Hillingdon.
HS2 believes it can reduce the maximum daily peak of HGV vehicles to 550 and with signalisation on Swakeleys roundabout this, in their opinion, will be manageable. HS2 also believes, subject to certain conditions, that it can reduce the amount of spoil to be dumped on the fields between Harvil Road and Breakspear Road South by re-using the spoil in the building of the new Harvil Road bridge and Uxbridge golf course. It will also re-use spoil from the West Ruislip tunnel portal on Ruislip golf course.
These efforts were as a result of the petitioning last year by Ickenham residents to the House of Commons Select Committee and political pressure from our council leader and local MPs.
We, of course, welcome any improvements in mitigation but do not share their optimism that our local roads can support HS2’s construction activities. Its plans still require over 100,000 HGV vehicle movements on roads which today cannot support the daily commuter traffic and already suffer high levels of air pollution. In addition to the construction sites in Harvil Road, Breakspear Road South and Ickenham High Road (West Ruislip) – which in themselves will cause traffic congestion – there will be significant utility works in West End Road Ruislip, construction sites in Harefield and West Hyde. We know, from the National Grid utility works in Breakspear Road South in July/August this year, that any work by any party can cause horrendous congestion.
Our position remains that no HGV vehicles should be allowed on our suburban roads, through our shopping centre, along commuter, bus and school routes and known accident black spots. The traffic modelling upon which HS2 Ltd is basing its conclusions has not yet been agreed with TfL, LBH and our Residents Association and is unlikely to conclude until next year. The traffic numbers could change. It was our opinion that, until there was more substantive evidence, these conclusions were premature and should not be presented to the residents.
We are also disappointed that HS2 Ltd still wants to build and run concrete factories on the Green Belt by Harvil Road. We do not believe this is environmentally sound – the risks of environmental pollution are too great. We believe best practice would be to bring in the finished concrete tunnel supports from existing factories which have been proven to be environmentally safe. HS2 Ltd has agreed that this alternative would not create additional traffic.
The Ickenham Residents Association will have a stand in the HS2 Information Event and we thank HS2 Ltd for this opportunity. Please come and meet us.