A county council has expressed a number of issues deemed “unacceptable” and “critical” relating to Network Rail’s application for a Transport and Works Act Order(TWAO) to build East West Rail (EWR) Phase 2 – stretching from Bicester to Bedford.
In a report due to be considered by its board today, Buckinghamshire County Council listed a range of concerns that it argued must be resolved prior to TWAO approval. At the moment, pending agreement from councillors, Buckinghamshire holds two ‘holding objects’ to the scheme’s second phase.
While the local authority is supportive of the scheme “in principle” and is keen to see the project progress, it has some “significant concerns” around four areas: traffic and transport; ecology; public rights of way; and geology, soils and land contamination.
For example, Buckinghamshire is worried about the proposed construction route and HGV impacts, car parking and highways mitigation, as well as EWR’s impact on several public paths.
The council also argued that there is currently no commitment to achieving a net gain for biodiversity as “the officers would expect from a development of this scale.” Similarly, an area of land to the south west of Bletchley – designated as a local wildlife site – would be at risk from pollution and contamination arising from the works and the line’s operation.