HS2 has opened a new relief road around the village of Chipping Warden in Northamptonshire, allowing construction vehicles and other through traffic to avoid the centre of the village and the local primary school
The new road is a result of many years of hard work by local residents to make the case, supported by their MP, Dame Andrea Leadsom and local councillors.
The new road, which takes the A361 around the north west side of Chipping Warden, has been delivered in partnership with West Northamptonshire Council, and previously Northamptonshire County Council, and built by HS2 contractors ahead of the start of work on the new high speed railway which will pass to the east of the village.
The new road will improve road safety in the village, improve air quality and cut noise for residents.
The A361 – between Daventry and the M40 – used to pass through the centre of Chipping Warden, passing the Chipping Warden Primary Academy.
The team worked closely with the council’s highways team to design the road and bring it into use this weekend, with the local authority making a £2m contribution towards the cost.
The road itself runs from just north of Hogg End to a point north of Long Barrow but south of Stone House.
Local buses will still use the existing bus stops in the centre of the village.
The HS2 route will pass to the northeast of the village in a shallow 1.5 mile long tunnel. This ‘green tunnel’ will be created by building a concrete tunnel ‘box’ over the railway line which is then covered with earth and new trees and shrubs planted to blend it into the surrounding landscape.
Once this is complete it will reduce noise from passing trains and protects views across the countryside from the village.
Mitigating the impact of HS2 construction traffic
Phil Larratt, portfolio holder for transport and highways on west Northamptonshire Council, said: “The completion of this relief road is wonderful news for the residents of Chipping Warden.
“The scheme will help in mitigating the impact of HS2 construction traffic in the village.
“It will also reduce the number of vehicles driving through the village centre, improving air quality, noise levels and road safety, especially for local children. We have been pleased to work with HS2 on this project.”
HS2 Ltd’s project client director, Ambrose McGuire, added: “The Chipping Warden relief road is a great example of what we’re doing now to reduce the impact of construction on communities as our activities ramp up over the next few years.
“We worked closely with the council to deliver the road, and I’d like to thank everyone involved for their work in reaching this milestone.”