Agenda item

Impact of HS2 on Parking and Noise


Ian Thynne, Planning Specialists Team Manager introduced the item and presented some drone footage of the HS2 works to the Committee Members. It was noted that overground works were taking place in South Ruislip and there was a large amount of activity at the West Ruislip portal.


In response to Members’ enquiries, it was confirmed that, in terms of spoil, approximately 1.1 million cubic metres stayed on site and the remainder (approximately 100,000 cubic metres) was relocated to a local tip in Beaconsfield or to a wet facility in North Acton. The aim was to keep as much material as possible on site.


Members were informed that a conveyor belt was used to move material to site areas. The aim was to use the conveyor belt for long movements whilst lorries would be used for more local movements only. It was confirmed that lorries were not permitted to use non-prescribed HS2 routes. Third party contractors would be penalised if they did not adhere to the rules.


Representatives of HS2 / SCS confirmed that innovative methods were being explored to ensure compliance; ANPR cameras were being installed to monitor lorry movements. Repeat offenders who did not adhere to the agreed routes would be removed from the project. Members heard that it was the first time ANPR cameras had been used in this way at a construction site in the UK and they would be in operation 24 hours a day. A new driver training package was also being considered.


Members noted that the ANPR cameras were to be located to the north of the A40 and enquired how lorry movements in the south of the Borough would be monitored. It was confirmed that all lorries displayed an HS2 sign – if they were seen to be deviating from the approved routes, residents were requested to inform HS2 Ltd to enable appropriate action to be taken accordingly. The agreed lorry routes had been approved by the Council, but it was noted that there was some flexibility so HS2 could access local businesses thereby supporting the local economy and lowering its carbon footprint.


Councillors were advised that the relationship between HS2 Ltd and the London Borough of Hillingdon was good but there was always room for improvement. It was important for HS2 to work very closely with the Council and with the utilities companies to minimise the timescales of the works. Council officers also worked hard to move things along as quickly as possible. Lewis Stokes, SCS Engagement Lead, invited Councillors and officers to visit the site to gain a better understanding of the project and see for themselves the measures which were in place. It was agreed that Democratic Services would share his contact details with Members after the meeting.


At the request of the Committee, it was agreed that Ward Councillors would be informed of any incidents when companies were removed from the project due to non-compliance.


Members commented that communication was key – residents wanted to know what was going on and where to go to get further information and raise their concerns. HS2 Ltd recognised the importance of community engagement and was keen to work with Councillors to improve this. The Committee was informed that current initiatives included leaflet distribution, a drop-in hub for residents and engagement forums. However, it was acknowledged that more could be done – future plans included additional engagement forums and better use of the website and social media platforms to engage with residents. More partnership working with community groups and regular newsletters were also planned to engage with the wider community. It was noted that a drop-in centre had been requested in Harefield and HS2 officers wished to work with the Council to discuss the best location for this. 


Councillors observed that residents would welcome information about road closures. It was important for SCS / HS2 to be seen to be working closely with the local community. It was noted that it was difficult for residents to access funds for community projects as the forms were complex and difficult to complete. Members heard that HS2 staff would be happy to assist with form filling and would welcome an opportunity to work with local Councillors on community engagement projects.


In respect of parking, the Committee was advised that HS2 staff were encouraged to use public transport or travel by minibus where possible. There was sufficient parking on site – the situation was monitored, and any illegal parking could be reported to the SCS/HS2 help desk.


In response to further questioning from the Committee, it was confirmed that the emergency services (to include local hospitals) were invited to six-weekly HS2 traffic liaison group meetings. The HS2 engagement lead agreed to check that Harefield Hospital was represented at these meetings.


In terms of ANPR cameras and the data recorded, Members heard that the data was captured for HS2 lorries only – not for all traffic. This data would not be stored any longer than was necessary.


With regard to timings, Councillors were advised that HS2 works were likely to continue until 2030; however, these would ramp down significantly around 2027/2028. It was anticipated that roadworks would reduce significantly by November 2023 which would minimise disruption in the local area.


In summary it was confirmed that SCS/HS2 Ltd would try to limit the impact of the works on residents and would focus on adding social value. Councillors and community groups were invited to visit the site.


RESOLVED: That the Residents’ Services Select Committee noted the content of the report and sought further clarification as necessary.





Supporting documents: