Work finally starts on HS2 relief road for Chipping Warden

HS2 will provide a high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham
HS2 will provide a high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham

Work has finally started on a bypass for Chipping Warden to act as a relief road for construction traffic from HS2.

Residents have long been concerned about the impact of the high-speed rail project with vehicles accessing a compound to the north of the village via the A361.

After representations from locals and the MP, Northamptonshire County Council secured funding for the road from HS2 Ltd.

In addition, HS2 Ltd has committed to limit the number of HGVs using the A361 from the M40 to 500 vehicles in each direction.

Cllr Ian Morris, cabinet member for transport, highways and environment, said: “The village of Chipping Warden has been in need of a relief road for many years but with the associated traffic with the construction of HS2 this is now even more necessary.

“Although the bypass has been a priority for the county council it had been very difficult to obtain the funding required.

“The development of HS2 gave us a unique opportunity to develop a business case to help make the road a reality.”

High traffic volumes through the village particularly HGVs and car transporters accessing the Appletree Industrial Estate, have long been a concern for residents.

The local community has also repeatedly highlighted congestion and safety concerns associated with the primary school.

Uma Shanker, area project director for HS2 said: “This initiative is a combined effort between HS2 and Northamptonshire County Council that will establish a positive legacy for the local road network.

“We are committed to continue to work in partnership and see this project come to life to benefit the local community.

“An effective and efficient relationship with Northamptonshire County Council is vital for the success of our construction work.

“The work associated with Chipping Warden relief road is a key enabler.”

HS2 Ltd contractors will design and build the relief road, while the county council has agreed to make a £2m contribution towards the cost of the scheme.

Andrea Leadsom, Member of Parliament for South Northamptonshire, said: “I am absolutely delighted that work has now started on the Chipping Warden Relief Road.

“Securing the road through the HS2 process was a huge victory for the village, and I was pleased to support local residents and Northamptonshire County Council in the bid to include the road within the bill.

“Without all our efforts, the community would have been faced with the horror of HS2 construction traffic rumbling right through the heart of their village.

“I recognise that there are still concerns from some residents about the need for an acoustic barrier as part of the design, now that the speed limit on the road has been lowered, and I continue to press HS2 Ltd to find a resolution on this point.”