Camden Council fights to protect residents from the impacts of HS2 construction traffic
The council will defend its position following an appeal by HS2 Ltd. to the Secretary of State against its refusal to determine the current lorry routes application.
HS2 Ltd. is required to seek the council’s approval for the routes that large construction vehicles (HGVs) take to and from the worksites in the Borough.
The recent application related to HGVs serving worksites in Adelaide Road and Euston Approaches. The Council raised serious concerns about the proposal even prior to its submission, and throughout the process have sought to negotiate suitable amendments with HS2 Ltd. to overcome those concerns.
Disappointingly HS2 Ltd. felt that it could not make changes to the scheme and instead made an appeal to the Secretary of State. The Council is objecting to the use of Camden High Street and wants tighter control over the use of local roads in the Regents Park Estate.
“The safety and amenity of our residents and businesses is our top priority, especially those who are directly impacted by the ongoing HS2 works.
“Although our overall influence and control is limited on much of the HS2 scheme, we will always hold HS2 to account using the powers we do have.
“Both HS2 worksites are located in the heart of our communities. The lorries accessing the site have the potential to cause great harm to the lives of those communities and impact highway safety. It is our responsibility to help ensure that the impact of that construction traffic is minimised and all residents are kept as safe as possible.
“We have also made it clear to HS2 Ltd. that we cannot permit use of the northern part of Camden High Street, it is impractical. The pavements here are highly congested as this is a hugely popular tourist spot and pedestrians frequently spill out onto the road.
“In our view the potential conflict between pedestrians and construction vehicles is incredibly high. It is plain to us that there are better alternative routes available for these construction vehicles. Whilst not part of our determination, it is clear that the use of Camden High Street for a busy lorry route is also likely to impact future improvements needed to the street impacting local businesses.
“The council will also not tolerate the uncontrolled use of local roads in Regents Park Estate, improved management controls could so easily and significantly reduce the impact on these residents, but these have not been agreed.”
The Council is also in the process of defending a second appeal from HS2 Ltd. following its refusal of an application for the excavation of a railway cutting involving erection of retaining and parapet walls on the grounds that its design was harmful to local amenity and did not ensure the look and feel tied into the surrounding community and the Regents Park Conservation Area.
The community has until 2 June 2020 to make submissions to the Planning Inspectorate on this appeal.