HS2 and the rumour mill

On the day following the election, some HS2 notices appeared around some of Ickenham’s open spaces. They comprised several pages and it’s easy to see why some residents drew the wrong conclusions. Unfortunately, these wrong conclusions found their way onto Facebook and created a lot of heat and steam.

We thought it best to present some of the salient facts presented in the documents. If we learn more about HS2’s intentions we will let you know.

First of all, here’s the map of the (red-outlined) area debated on Facebook:

This area lies between Hoylake Cresent and the Chiltern Railway line.

Here is a snap of what HS2 intends to do here:

Since the Facebook alarm was about HS2 using the area “for storage of construction equipment for the building of HS2”, we think this paragraph (and the fact it’s a short-term survey) led to the misunderstanding.:

Apologies for the rubbish photographs. We thought it best to present the original documents rather than a transcript.

Ickenham Pump Road Plan

As you probably know, the accident-prone Ickenham Pump area is to be redesigned. What follows is extracted from a letter to the Residents’ Association from LBH and a link to the proposed plan. Comments have to be in to the address at the foot of this letter by February 15. The proposals are an improvement on what exists. The question is “could they be better?”

Here goes:

Formal Consultation: Swakeleys Road and High Road Ickenham – Proposed Road Safety Improvements

The informal consultation responses have been analysed which indicated a majority in support of the proposed measures. Following consideration of the consultation responses, the Cabinet Member for Planning, Transportation and Recycling has approved for formal consultation to be carried out on this proposal.

The optimum proposal identified by the independent study, and supported in principle by Ward Members and the Metropolitan Police, includes the following proposed measures, as shown in this plan:-

Ickenham Pump
• Closure of the central access to the Ickenham Pump (vehicle surveys and vehicle tracking software has been used to ensure vehicle movements can be maintained within the Ickenham Pump service road with the inclusion of additional yellow lines)

• Residents’ permit only parking bay extended within the Ickenham Pump service road

• Two raised tables on the Ickenham Pump service road to calm traffic

• Potential options for sympathetic landscaping within the closed central access to the Ickenham Pump

Swakeleys Road
• Re-location of the existing zebra crossing on Swakeleys Road to 20 metres from its junction with High Road Ickenham. This would require;

• Closure of the access to the service road opposite the Post Office

• Re-location of the existing northbound bus stop and goods vehicle loading bay

High Road Ickenham
• Extended ‘Keep Clear’ markings on High Road Ickenham at the northern access to the Ickenham Pump

• Extended operational hours of the existing yellow lines on High Road Ickenham adjacent to St Giles’ Church The proposed scheme has been subject to a positive review undertaken by an independent road safety auditor.

The statutory consultation period will run until 15 February 2017. A formal notice will appear in a local paper as well as street notices displayed on site during this time. If you would like to comment on the proposal, please write to the postal or email address below by Wednesday 15 February 2017 and include your address to help us analyse all responses.

Transport and Projects Residents Services
London Borough of Hillingdon,
4W/06, Civic Centre, High Street, Uxbridge, UB8 1UW

T.01895 556266 F.01895 250676

PS (11 Feb): Reading the Council’s official notice, it suggests quoting the reference number 4W/06/25/01/17.

It also says this:

If you have any comments or feedback on the proposed parking and traffic improvement schemes below, please contact the Transport and Projects Team:

I don’t know whether telephoned or emailed comments have the same weight as physical documents. I shall enquire, but time is running out…

PPS: Email is fine. My thanks to Cllr Hensley for calling me about this at 9:00 this morning. He’s probably the most responsive ‘official’ I’ve ever met.

House of Lords HS2 report today

The House of Lords HS2 Select Committee is reporting in public today at 10am. (Committee Room 4 if you want to rush up there.)

Or you can watch it on parliament tv

The Chairman will announce the publication of the report and make a few, brief concluding remarks. The Committee will adjourn very shortly thereafter and the report will be made available on the Committee’s website.

This link takes you straight to the Ickenham bit.

A technical review of HS2?

If you believe that HS2 cannot meet its stated objective of delivering “..hugely enhanced capacity and connectivity between our major conurbations”, then please call on Government to commission an independent technical review of the project.

Details are here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/171945

The broad brush is, “We call on HM Government to commission an independent technical review of every aspect of the HS2 scheme to determine how and why this failure has happened.”

HS2 House of Lords Presentation of Petitions

The Ickenham Residents’ Association, along with other petitioners from Ickenham, will be presenting from 2 pm on Monday November 21 to the House of Lords HS2 Select Committee. We all would appreciate your support when we present. The public have access to the Select Committee Room 4 – please allow 30 -40 minutes to get through security and make you way through the myriad passages in the House – there are lots of people who will be happy to give you directions.
The Association with many more Ickenham petitioners presented to the House of Commons Select Committee in June 2015; at that time we were all requesting that the tunnel be extended beyond the Colne Valley thereby saving Ickenham and our surrounding areas. Although we believe this is still the best option the Secretary of State for Transport has confirmed that there will be no tunnel extension; this was on same day that the Secretary of State also advised that HS2 will not fund the relocation of HOAC.
The House of Commons Select Committee in their final report did state that we deserved special mitigation particularly regarding the traffic and dumping of spoil. There has been a working group between HS2, LBH and TfL which has determined that based upon a number of conditions – all of which are uncertain – there is scope for reducing HGV lorries and dumping of some spoil.
We however do not consider this is good enough; it still puts over 100,000 HGVs down Swakeleys Road during the construction period with horrendous emissions. We still have 3 major construction sites, road closures due to utility works and concrete factories sited on green belt. HS2 Ltd have held 2 events in Ickenham to put a positive spin on this but nearly all attendees advised us afterwards that they were dissatisfied with HS2 ‘s proposals.
The London Borough of Hillingdon will be presenting to the Select Committee on November 17. They will be raising similar issues and of course the situation with HOAC.