HS2 wins High Court ruling over 'bitterly disappointed' Bucks Council in lorry route dispute covering Wendover

Bucks Council is ‘bitterly disappointed’ after the local authority lost its appeal to stop HS2 lorries using Bucks roads.

By James Lowson
Monday, 25th July 2022, 3:28 pm

Bucks Council challenged the Planning Inspector’s’ decision to allow HS2 lorries to pass through six routes in Bucks.

The routes in question are on Small Dean Lane and the Small Dean Viaduct in Wendover, as well as Chiltern Tunnel North Portal, and three work sites in Little Missenden, Chesham and the same portal.

On Friday (21 July), Sir Duncan Ouseley dismissed the council’s appeal uploading the rail company’s application from 2021.

HS2 lorries have been operating on Bucks roads for months

HS2 Ltd says it welcomes the decision reporting that since lorries began navigating these routes ‘no major complaints’ have been raised.

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Councillor Steven Broadbent said: “We are bitterly disappointed with the result but the decision to go ahead and take these appeals to the High Court was always the right thing to do for our residents and communities.

"Following robust Counsel advice, we believe we had strong and very valid reasons to challenge the decisions of the Inspectors in allowing lorry routes to be used which will have an enormous and detrimental impact on our local roads.

“We and other local authorities are already limited in our overall influence and control on much of the HS2 scheme and last week’s High Court decision puts a further financial burden on us to provide more and more evidence when challenging anything HS2 does in our area.

"This is so unjust when our residents are already covering the cost of a huge infrastructure project whose construction is causing disruption to a wide swath of Buckinghamshire.

“We have now met with our legal representatives to discuss next steps and after careful consideration we have decided not to appeal the decision.

“I want to assure residents that we will fully use the limited powers we have. We will hold HS2 Limited and their contractors to account, and continue to work tirelessly to mitigate the impact of the construction and the project on our local communities, environment and infrastructure – doing whatever we can to influence the design of the railway, the lorry routes and traffic management to reduce the impact of the scheme.”

Initially when HS2 applied to use these six routes, Bucks Council declined requesting further information from the rail team.

It was then that inspectors appointed by the Government stepped in to arbitrate.

An HS2 Ltd spokesperson said: “We welcome the judge’s decision to reject and dismiss these claims. This important result means that the decision of the Planning Inspectors to approve the HS2 lorry routes at the planning appeal stage will continue to stand. The lorry routes in question have been in operation for many months now with no major complaints or problems, and we are pleased we can continue to use them.

“HS2 Ltd is working hard to reduce disruption for local communities during the construction of the railway. In Buckinghamshire, this includes creating our own temporary internal access roads, using freight trains to deliver materials, and delivering a programme of junction improvements across the county, including making a £3.9m road safety fund available to the council.”