The A361 runs through Chipping Warden and serves as the main route between Daventry and the M40. The level of traffic through the village has long been a concern for local residents. HS2 Ltd are constructing a relief road to remove through traffic from the centre of the village.
Description of the scheme
High Speed Two (HS2) is a high speed railway which will connect major cities in Britain. Permission was granted to build HS2 phase one on 23 February 2017 which will provide a dedicated high speed rail service between London and the West Midlands and is expected to be open by 2026.
The A361 will be the approved route for construction traffic to access one of the main construction sites in Northamptonshire, located just to the north of Chipping Warden on the former airfield.
The transport assessment carried out by High Speed Two Limited has estimated that there will be a significant increase in traffic during construction, particularly HGVs.
To reduce the impact on local people, High Speed Two Limited has designed, and are building, the Chipping Warden Relief Road before the main construction compound is fully operational. They have also agreed to use the relief road for construction traffic as far as possible.
High Speed Two Limited will build the Relief Road in two stages. Stage one will extend from the A361 just north of Hogg End to a point north of Long Barrow but south of Stone House. Stage two will see the connection to the A361 altered to suit the permanent road layout, once HS2 Ltd have built the cut and cover tunnel for their new railway.
A plan of the proposed route that was published in the Environmental Statement can be downloaded below:
Landscaping and appropriate noise mitigation will be considered as part of the detailed design process.
Benefits of the scheme
The Relief Road will remove the need for construction traffic and through traffic to travel via the village centre. The number of vehicles in the centre of Chipping Warden will reduce, improving air quality, noise levels and road safety. The Relief Road will be a permanent feature so the village will continue to benefit once High Speed Two is completed.
Scheme cost and how it will be funded
High Speed Two Limited contractors are designing and building the Relief Road. Northamptonshire County Council agreed to make a £2 million contribution towards the cost of the scheme.
Northamptonshire County Council undertook public consultation on possible routes for a Relief Road in summer 2014 and received 160 comments. Strong support for a relief road to the west of Chipping Warden was received.
High Speed Two Limited undertook public consultation as part of Additional Provision 2 in July 2015.
Possible timeline of key events
Contractors for High Speed Two Limited set-up a compound in August 2018 for works taking place ahead of the construction of Chipping Warden Relief Road. The construction of stage one of the Relief Road commenced early in 2019.
In March 2019, Dawnus (working on behalf of Fusion, High Speed Two's Enabling Works Contractor) went into administration.
High Speed Two Limited and Fusion have now appointed Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd. After a period of mobilisation, works have restarted on site. It is expected that stage one of the Relief Road will open in May 2021.
The timings for construction of stage two will be dependant on the progress of HS2 Limited's main construction works.
Further information on the High Speed Two project through Northamptonshire, including the latest plans for Chipping Warden Relief Road and details of public engagement events are available on the HS2 in Northants website.
General information on the High Speed Two project can be found on the High Speed Two website.