Jeremy Wright MP spoke out against HS2’s impact on Burton Green and Stoneleigh Park when he gave evidence to the High Speed Rail (London-West Midlands) Bill Select Committee on Monday January 18.
The MP for Kenilworth and Southam led a group of speakers which included representatives from Warwickshire County Council and Warwick District Council, as well as various parish councils and protest groups such as Stop HS2.
It’s not helpful to have average noise figures - it’s much more helpful to have peak noise measurements which indicate what the sound of a passing train will actually be like.Jeremy Wright MP
Giving evidence to the committee, Mr Wright described Burton Green as “the most affected village” in his constituency, and that it needed an “imaginative and holistic approach” to minimise the potential impact of HS2.
He said that noise generated by the high-speed line would affect properties in Red Lane and Hodgetts Lane, and that residents of the village could not fully understand the impact on their properties because, in his view, HS2 had not provided a “digestible representation of what the noise will be like.”
He added: “It’s not helpful to have average noise figures - it’s much more helpful to have peak noise measurements which indicate what the sound of a passing train will actually be like.”
When it came to Stoneleigh Park, Mr Wright said the open cutting currently planned for the line would split the park in two, and suggested it should be replaced by a cut-and-cover tunnel, which he said would allow the whole site to continue to be used and will keep the site’s full long term utility.
He said: “The site’s owners have accepted the mitigation which is currently proposed, but the committee should not take that as an enthusiastic welcome of the mitigation but a wholly pragmatic decision.”
Mr Wright also spoke out against the proposed use of Ashow Road for construction traffic after it was deemed the A46 and Stoneleigh Road junction would see higher amounts of traffic than first thought once construction begins on HS2.
He said: “I think this is a very bad idea. Ashow Road is a narrow road which is used by equestrian traffic and pedestrians, and it is not suitable for construction traffic.”
He also questioned proposals to put traffic signals on the junction. He said: “It is highly congested already, particularly at peak times. It will become more so with the expansion of Warwick University and of Stoneleigh Park over the next few years.”
A separate proposal to redevelop the junction into a grade separated junction by WCC and Coventry City Council to mitigate the traffic was welcomed by Mr Wright, as he believed construction traffic would be eased as a result of the redevelopment.