New concerns about effects on Iver of proposals for Western Rail Link to Heathrow
A new case is to be made to Network Rail to reconsider plans for the proposed closure of Hollow Hill Lane between Iver and Slough as part of plans for the new Western Rail Link to Heathrow (WRLTH).
With the submission of the planning application now delayed, Buckinghamshire Council, Iver Parish Council and Colne Valley Regional Park say that the time is right to look again at the transport and health impacts of the proposals on the Iver area.
Buckinghamshire Council's Cabinet Member for Transport, Nick Naylor, said the proposed closure of Hollow Hill Lane and its impact on local traffic in Iver is just one of a number of national projects that are causing uncertainty and difficulties for local residents.
“I and the five local councillors are working with the Parish Council and Colne Valley Regional Park to make the case that Network Rail should reconsider the closure of Hollow Hill Lane or to properly mitigate against the impact that construction and traffic will have on the road network in Iver," said Nick. "I know that by making a single united Buckinghamshire case we can successfully argue for improvements in walking and cycling links in the Colne Valley and for a contribution towards the much needed Iver Relief Road."
Nick said the WRLTH project may be good for UK plc, by enabling people to travel more sustainably to Heathrow, but that couldn't be at the expense of the health of the local community.
"They will be the ones affected by emissions from lorries used to construct the project or cars diverted into Iver because they can no longer use Hollow Hill Lane," said Nick.
"Our joint approach shows how we are using local knowledge and experience to make a stronger case to protect the communities affected by major projects. Local councillors, including Wendy Matthews, have long campaigned to reduce the impact of lorries in the Ivers, and we want to make sure that the rail link project ensures that the road, cycling and walking network helps residents get around the area as safely as possible."
The Council also understands that, subject to Secretary of State approval, the project is planned to go ahead whether or not Heathrow is allowed to expand, making this study even more critical to get right.
The joint case for Buckinghamshire will be developed over the coming months in time for a Department for Transport decision on funding and then application by Network Rail in the winter.