Mud on the roads

Greg Smith slams EWR & HS2 for our hazardous roads

I am utterly disappointed and very concerned with the conduct of senior East West Rail Alliance leaders in the past few weeks and months. The Alliance has shown blatant disregard for the safety and wellbeing of my constituents and has refused to engage with the Local Authority on how to mitigate the project’s impact. I am calling on the Alliance and the Department for Transport to recognise in full the damage this project has caused and to make amends as a matter of urgency.

The significant amount of disruption caused by the EWR’s earthworks is far-reaching and, at times, downright dangerous. The Alliance has demonstrated a severe lack of urgency when responding to excessive amounts of mud along the roads leading to/from their compounds, in effect leaving the highway in a hazardous state that threatens the safety of my constituents. Residents of Newton Longville, Steeple Claydon and Verney Junction, have been hit particularly hard – having already suffered through month after month and year after year of continuous disruption to their daily lives. Mud continues to cake the road surface; mile after mile of grass verges have been destroyed by EWR HGVs passing each other on narrow country lanes; several stretches of road are now considered dangerous due to the damage caused by EWR’s construction traffic.

This is unacceptable and cannot go on.

Despite what is clearly an urgent and alarming situation, the Alliance has been unwilling to step up the resources needed to deal with it. It has therefore fallen to the Local Authority and my office to clean up after the Alliance, a perpetual burden which is unwarranted, unnecessary, and unfair. Buckinghamshire Council has been forced to re-direct it’s own resources to dealing with the fallout of the Alliance’s poor conduct; those within the Council who’ve been assigned to pick up the pieces have informed me of the toll it’s taken, with many already having experienced the overwhelming impact of HS2.

To make matters worse, the Alliance has u-turned on it’s willingness to constructively engage with key local stakeholders, including the Council. Representation at critical joint meetings has been patchy and there is a general expectation from the Alliance that we engage on their terms. This is NOT how a major infrastructure project should be managed; standards have slipped considerably, and it is plain for everyone involved to see.

The delivery of East West Rail should not and cannot be conditional on the daily misery suffered by stakeholders, which those overseeing the project have failed to remedy, resulting in blighted communities and an overburdened local authority. The Alliance must step up, engage with us constructively, and put in place measures to prevent any further risk to the safety and wellbeing of my constituents.

Greg Smith MP greg.smith.mp@parliament.uk

4 thoughts on “Greg Smith slams EWR & HS2 for our hazardous roads”

  1. Fowler Timothy

    Thanks for this article. As the EW rail alliance and hs2 are contravening the highways act on at least 3 counts, can their compounds not be shut until they literally clean up their acts?

  2. I have emailed EWR repeatedly about the volume of mud on the road. The response us to send a road sweeper once every few weeks, which just spreads the mess further across the road. Our cars are filthy, cycling is not possible and once temperatures reach below zero we will have a lethal ice rink.

  3. As a motorcyclist who lives in Steeple Claydon, I literally expect to come off my motorcycle everyday travelling on these roads. The condition of the roads are lethal. I suspect if I do come off they will take no responsibility but they really should be held accountable. Its disgraceful what they believe they can get away with. I feel HS2 and EWR feel they are above the law. When will the power that be stamp down on this fragrant abuse of our countryside?

  4. Nice to see this, let’s hope this galvanises a action for those responsible. Curious, did Greg Smith do this of his own volition or have to be prompted to stick his hand up? Very few times does he stick his head above his party parapet with a new idea.

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