12 May 2014

Northamptonshire County Council has formally submitted its concerns to parliament about the HS2 rail project – as part of the process for the scheme to be agreed.

Although the county council supports the plan in principle, there are a number of issues it feels need addressing before work can start.

What are the concerns?

Concerns include making sure that the roads used for construction traffic are suitable and that the county council will not have to pay for any damage caused.

The council is also seeking reassurance with regard to permanent and temporary road closures that the proposed diversions are appropriate.

The county council also wants to make sure that Northamptonshire rail travellers are not negatively affected by the scheme and that there will be adequate capacity on the existing routes during and after construction, particularly in light of the planned reduction in the number of platforms available at London’s Euston station.

HS2 Ltd is also being asked to pay for the A361 Chipping Warden relief road as the highways network around that particular village will be severely impacted by the rail link during the construction period.

The county council is also calling for more mitigation measures at particular locations to reduce the noise and visual impact of the rail link on local communities.

Cllr Michael Clarke, county council cabinet member for transport, highways and environment, said: “We believe it’s absolutely essential to represent those communities that will be directly affected by the HS2 project and we’ve been very assertive in our representations to the government.

“There is a recognition that the government will be pressing ahead with HS2 and we have a desire as a county council to deal with issues pragmatically as we want to make sure that the people of Northamptonshire are not negatively impacted.

“We are confident that what we are proposing is very reasonable and that the government will give our requests the consideration that they deserve.”

What are the next steps?

An overview of the county council’s concerns can be found in a report which was discussed at the Cabinet meeting in March.

The county council will submit its suggestions before the deadline for representations, which is on Friday 16 May.

The authority is also working with all of the parish councils in the affected area on their individual representations, which need to be submitted a week later by Friday 23 May.

The next stage in the parliamentary process is for representations to be considered at a select committee which is scheduled to sit before the summer recess.