Access to the site of the new HS2 tunnel vent at Chalfont St Peter will be easier for contractors in the future as a new access road has been opened.
The new 400-metre-long road will take heavy good vehicles (HGVs) directly from the A413 Amersham Road to the site of the Chalfont St Peter vent shaft, avoiding the centre of the village, Robertswood School and the Epilepsy Society.
The 60-metre-deep vent shaft is being built to provide ventilation and emergency access to the Chilterns tunnel. A single-storey headhouse will be built on top, containing fans and other ventilation and emergency access equipment.
Once construction of the vent shaft is complete, the temporary access road will be removed and the land restored to its former condition. Mature trees will be retained at the perimeter of the vent shaft site, with new planting and wildlife habitats created around the building.
The road was built in three months by a team led by HS2’s main works contractor Align JV – a joint venture of Bouygues Travaux Publics, Sir Robert McAlpine, and VolkerFitzpatrick.
Rohan Perin, HS2 project client director, said: “We recognise that our work will cause disruption to people living close to our construction sites. That’s why, over the last three months, we’ve worked to deliver a dedicated temporary access route to the vent shaft site.
“By taking heavy goods vehicles directly to the main road, rather than going through the village, this new access road will make a big difference to people living and working in Chalfont St Peter.”
Daniel Altier, Align project director, added: “The creation of the temporary access road is a direct result of our engagement with local stakeholders. We are delighted to be able build something that directly addressed the concerns raised by local communities and improves road safety for the local school and nursery as well as people visiting the Epilepsy Society”.
In addition, a new temporary marshalled lorry-holding area will also be put in place on the A413 near Gerrards Cross. HGVs can be held in this newly surfaced layby until their approach to the vent shaft site is clear – helping to reduce congestion and eliminate queuing at the site entrance.
The two projects are part of a package of mitigation measures designed to reduce the impact of construction on the local community.
Alongside the new access route, HS2 has also agreed to work with local highways authorities on a series of road improvements across Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire, designed to ease traffic flows during construction. These include a new relief road at Chipping Warden, road widening and improvement at Wardington, and junctions close to Great Missenden.