So you don't think HS2 affects Hyde Heath?

For all the HS2 meeting I have been to and the hours of reading on the subject the whole thing seemed a little distance, so far off it was not really true, that is until I read the HS2 letter to the Central Chilterns Community Forum dated May 2013, under the heading Engineering comments; response:

Construction sites

You also asked for information about a number of specific construction routes

  • ‘Long mile’ – Hyde Heath Road has been identified as a construction access route to the Chiltern Tunnel North Portal Satellite Compound. Further information will be available when the draft Environmental Statement is released.

It was then it struck home this disaster is going to happen and my way of life will be changed. I have walked the long mile many times and in all weathers. Throughout the seasons I watched the hedge rows change from the harshness of winter to the soft greens of early spring. HS2 will change all that.............

But we are having a tunnel, I thought.

That is true, but where the tunnel ends at Mantles Wood, the green cutting starts, which means for Hyde Heath a major construction site and in the long term a permanent service depot with an access road.

Why is Mantles Wood the end of the tunnel? Two reasons, this is written by a layman not an engineer.  Firstly Mantles Wood is the high point on this section of the line from there the ground is level. Secondly and this has an impact on point one, the EU stipulate that tunnels can only be so long. So HS2 had to select a point for a break in its tunnelling works, hence Mantles Wood.

How will this impact upon Hyde Heath?

Well if you look at the map on the web page you will see the close proximity of Mantles Wood to Hyde Heath.

Mantles Wood

Lets deal with Mantles Wood first. Basically this ancient woodland will disappear. In its place will be the tunnel exit, with what is described as a silencer to baffle some of the noise of the trains leaving and entering the tunnel.  Secondly it will be the entering point for all the equipment to dig both the tunnel and the green cutting. Which makes it the exit point for all the waste from the green cutting, I will cover that in more detail later. So there will be a large number of men working at this point of the line. In Mantle Wood HS2 is thinking about building a concrete drainage pond to capture ground water, which if built (and HS2 has not confirmed it one way or other), will be a long term eyesore.

The Long Mile

Returning to the spoil. HS2 will not give the information but based on an engineers experience, trucks will be leaving and entering the site every four minutes. The route out of Mantles Wood on what is currently the forestry track, will be reconstructed as a two lane highway. The trucks will enter Hyde Heath Road just pass Bullbaiters Lane where the five bar gate is currently. The truck will turn left away from Hyde Heath. But the road is only 5.9 metres wide and a dumper truck is 2.5 metres wide. The outcome is Hyde Heath Road will be widened. And of course traffic lights here to allow the trucks to get onto and off the road.

Which will require the hedgerow to be removed. In addition the road is a very busy route for cyclists, walkers and equestrians and to accommodate this, a wider road will be built.

The impact of this will be more cars will use Hyde Heath as a cut through as the A413 will be even more congested due to the huge number of spoil trucks that will both clog the road and slow traffic.

Chesham Road and the A413

On reaching the Great Missenden to Chesham road, the trucks turn left towards Anne Baileys (now owned by HS2). Just past Annie Baileys, the road is being diverted and traffic lights installed while a new road and bridge to be built.

Then the trucks are down to the A413 and towards Amersham. Of course any accident on this stretch of the A413 will mean traffic including the trucks using Hyde Heath, to avoid the blocked A413.

The disused layby on the A413 is going to be the entry point for the tunnelling equipment, so there will be a works site there.

With Mantle Wood and the A413 site Hyde Heath is the meat in the sandwich

What else can we expect?

Speak to the towns near the construction of HS1 and you will be told the period of construction was hell. One councillor said you cannot describe how bad it was.

Firstly increased traffic through the village, caused by construction workers travelling to Mantle Wood and other motorists avoiding the A413.

Dust and noise from the Mantle Wood construction site. This may be a seven day a week site! HS2 will not confirm this, as it will be in the Hybrid bill.

Travelling down the Hyde Heath road, you will be greeted by traffic lights, lorries rushing to and from the site at great speed, as the drivers will be under pressure and mud on the road.

So what is HHVS doing about this?

Firstly we are working closely with HS2AA to fight against the thing being built in the first place.

We are working with other parties such as BCC, CRAG and Woodland Trust to seek the best mitigation solutions. If we cannot stop it, we have to protect our village.

HHVS are having a bilateral meeting with HS2 in June to highlight the issues and problems that HS2 brings with it in the construction phase.

What can you do?

  • Help fund the appeal is a key milestone in the fight against HS2. If the HS2AA legal team can get the case referred to Brussels it will delay the project and give more time for people to understand there is no business or financial case for HS2.
  • Write to Cameron using one of the attached templates and let it be known you are against it. One letter amongst many has a big impact.
  • Visit the HS2 Road show on the 30th May 2013 and voice your objection to the plans. Use the sample questions on this web page (to follow)
  • Attend the bilateral meeting in June and let HS2 know what you think.
  • Join HHVS so we can keep you up to date with delvelopements.

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