Victoria Prentis, MP for North Oxfordshire, addressed the HS2 Select Committee today and asked that HS2 Ltd pay attention to the important concerns of constituents.
Victoria was able to present the petition submitted by previous MP, Sir Tony Baldry, and to add to it considerably. She told the Committee that she was concerned by a lack of communication from HS2 Ltd; and disappointed that accurate data to enable planning is not always provided in a timely fashion.
She raised considerable concerns over traffic in Banbury, and how there were no real figures available to understand the impact on Junction 11 of the M40 and roads such as Hennef Way.
Victoria highlighted issues in Wardington, explaining that the village would suffer from the regular HGV traffic through its centre. Local people would then use roads through Williamscot, Cropredy, Great Bourton and Little Bourton, to avoid the additional traffic on the A361. Specifically, she asked that the large amount of spoil which HS2 Ltd are planning to drive through the area, instead be taken up the line itself on a specially constructed road.
Finally, Victoria took the opportunity to highlight the concerns of Mixbury. She said how important the countryside is to all of us, and asked for a noise barrier along the Mossy Bank bridleway.
Speaking after her presentation, Victoria said “I was very grateful for the opportunity to stand up for North Oxfordshire. I made very clear to those present that transport was already a problem – and showed them last week’s Banbury Guardian in order to confirm it.
I was very pleased that the HS2 Ltd’s Counsel advised that they would be producing illustrative plans for Mixbury with greater detail of the proposed mitigation. I pushed for changes to HGV movements around junction 11 and on the A361 too, and hope that HS2 vehicle numbers will be severely restricted, and stopped on Saturdays.
I have stressed the need for open and regular communication between HS2 Ltd and the constituency, and will continue to represent constituents’ views.”