HS2 Construction Issues

Latest News: (last updated 31 October 2021)

HS2 select committee of MPs in Lower Thorpe, 2014.

HS2 has advised the parish council that Banbury Road between Bulls Lane and the Magpie road junction will be fully closed during the construction period until 'early 2024'. It is currently unclear when this will start but it appears that it will be when the proposed 'Greatworth Tee' road junction has been constructed. The latter junction will be a temporary new road linking the compound at the Magpie junction to the B4525, near to Greatworth Park, thereby facilitating the closure of Sulgrave Road from the compound to the Marston crossroads on the B4525. Roundabouts will be formed at junctions with the B4525.

The parish council has impressed on HS2 and the district council the importance of Banbury Lane through Lower Thorpe remaining open when Banbury Road is closed during the construction period.

HS2 has constructed the Magpie Works Compound between Banbury Road and the Sulgrave Road, providing offices and parking for up to 150-200 vehicles. The compound incorporates a concrete batching plant giving an industrial feel to the location. Night-time light pollution is a concern.

Parish Council representatives attend the county council's HS2 Liaison Group meetings where HS2 construction issues are reviewed on a regular basis.

Construction traffic concerns

Construction traffic is a major concern. HS2 propose to route HGV construction traffic along the B4525 turning into Sulgrave Road to the material works compound mentioned above. Other vehicles will be able to access the compound from other directions. The sole access to the compound will on the Sulgrave Road as it approaches the Magpie road junction. The traffic route map below was provided by HS2 in October 2020.

The Parish Council petitioned against the HS2 Hybrid Bill requesting noise and construction traffic mitigation. In January 2015 HS2 offered an Assurance to remove large construction traffic going through the village centre with the exception of the creation of the satellite work compound and a balancing pond in Lower Thorpe; a cross country haul route is proposed.

HS2 issued updated construction traffic projections in December 2020. The peak HS2 traffic period for the B4525 is 18 months from early 2022 when the peak daily average HS2 traffic is projected at 500 HGVs and 1000 other vehicles per day in addition to normal traffic. See the News item on 14 December 2020 for more information.

HS2 has a locally focused website for our area: www.hs2innorthants.co.uk

HS2 have also set up a helpdesk team: Tel. 08081 434434 (a Freephone number).

HS2 email enquiries address is hs2enquiries@hs2.org.uk

HS2's peak construction traffic projections issued December 2020.

Other concerns

Other major concerns being considered by the HS2 Liaison Group meeting, mentioned above, are the design of power gantries and viaducts. The meeting is endeavouring to monitor and influence the position. The design of the viaduct in Lower Thorpe is regarded as a Key Design Element. Preliminary design details were issued online on 19 October 2020 and a formal Schedule 17 planning application was submitted to the district council in October 2021..

Above: HS2 opposition sign at The Three Conies Inn, 2010, before the HS2 Bill received Royal Assent.