Hundreds of HS2 lorries to be sent down residential streets
Protests as rail line rubble routes are revealed
20 September, 2018 — By Tom Foot
CAMPAIGNERS have blasted new HS2 plans to send hundreds of lorries along “quiet residential streets” for the next 16 months.
Transport chiefs want dozens of trucks a day to travel along Harrington Street and Varndell Street as they leave Regent’s Park estate.
The HGVs will be transporting rubble from 188 homes being demolished and from a huge Network Rail cargo shed.
The overall proposals would effectively double the number of “journeys” HS2 originally said its lorries would make when the scheme was being scrutinised by Parliament, according to an objection from Camden HS2 Association of Residents’ Groups for Engagement (Charge).
It said the lorry plan would create an “extraordinary increase in traffic”, adding: “The proposed lorry route using Harrington Street and Varndell Street is clearly unacceptable. These are estate roads with 400 council flats having direct entrances onto them… 750 people living inside a construction compound, with 400 of those surrounded on all sides by HGV traffic, was not the intention of Parliament when passing the HS2 Bill.”
It added that changes to the way lorries will use Hampstead Road and Euston Road mean “HGV flows along these roads are double that presented to Parliament”.
Netley School’s governing body has also responded to HS2’s application to the council, warning that children’s health would be affected and criticising the consultation for taking place in school holidays. “As far as we can ascertain, families are largely unaware of proposals to use Harrington Street as a haul road for 16 months,” it says.
Camden Civic Society has said: “HS2 should keep their demolition heavy good vehicles to the periphery of the estate, not schedule them through the estate every five minutes.”
Regent’s Park Conservation Area Advisory Committee is “fundamentally opposed to the removal of any construction spoil by road, especially through residential streets like Harrington Square and Harrington Street. Rail should be used for spoil removal.”
HS2 Ltd – the government-backed company in charge of the rail link to Birmingham – has announced a raft of road closures and traffic management measures across Regent’s Park estate.
Diversions and temporary lights will be set up in Stanhope Street, Mackworth Street, Harrington Street, Varndell Street and Robert Street from Monday until February 2019.
The northbound bus lane and pavement in Hampstead Road will be removed for a fortnight while the bridge is widened.
“Activities are progressing to prepare for the demolition of buildings at Regent’s Park estate,” said HS2.
Flats in Silverdale, Ainsdale and Eskdale blocks are to be demolished early next year so the existing rail route into Euston can be widened to accommodate HS2.
The council and HS2 say they are “working together” on the project to make sure residents “affected by the noisy works are being visited”.
HS2 said the number of lorry movements predicted in its environmental statement put before Parliament would not be exceeded. It had engaged with the community and local authority on proposed lorry routes and, where appropriate, employed traffic marshals to help keep people safe and reduce disruption.