HS2: Now Hampstead is told to brace itself for ‘major adverse effect' from hundreds of lorry trips a day

Wednesday, 4th December 2013

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Published: 4 December, 2013
By TOM FOOT

THE peace and tranquility of Hampstead that have famously inspired literary masters for centuries will be shattered by heavy-duty trucks working on the government’s £50billion High Speed 2 project during a decade of building work.

There will be a “significant increase” of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) that will result in “significant noise” in Hampstead High Street, Rosslyn Hill and Haverstock Hill, causing a “major adverse effect on the amenity of residents”, according to documents released last week.

The threat to the north of the borough is revealed for the first time in a mammoth, 50,000-page High Speed Rail Bill published by the Department of Transport.

Frank Harding, vice chairman of the Heath and Hampstead Society, said: “The society is campaigning to reduce and remove HGV movements through the village. It is because of the weight of these vehicles and delicacy of surfaces, particularly in Heath Street. There was a proposal to develop New End. One of issues why that was voted against was the movement of HGVs – to remove rubble and so on – in large numbers. This is rather similar, if not worse, and is an added horror.”

The government’s “environment impact assessment” adds that Hampstead Heath is “sensitive to dust and nitrogen deposition” and would be “potentially affected” by the extra pollution.

If the rail route is app­roved by politicians, work will begin from 2016. The noise will be heard from 8am until 6pm on weekdays, and from 8am until 1pm on Saturday. HS2 believes that during peak times more than 3,000 extra HGVs will be coming in and out of Camden construction sites each day.

While the report does not estimate how many more lorries will be in Hampstead, it does say that at least 100 a day will be coming and going from a construction site in Adelaide Road, Primrose Hill, over a five-year phase.

A decision to shut Adelaide Road to create a 100ft vent shaft will cut off a major exit route for lorries transporting hundreds of thousands of tonnes of “landfill” from Camden to Finchley Road and the M25.

The environment im­pact statement, published as part of the HS2 Bill last week, says: “The increase in traffic navigating the junction of Rosslyn Hill and Hampstead High Street/Heath Street is predicted to generate effects on residential properties near the junction. The significant increase in HGV movements will combine with significant air-quality effects. The combination of these effects will have a major adverse effect on the amenity of residents, which is significant.”

The HS2 report adds that smog and noise from lorries on Haverstock Hill – a permanent route for lorries during a decade of work – will have a “major adverse effect” on Labour leader Ed Miliband’s former school, Haverstock.

It adds: “Significant noise effects are predicted at Haverstock School, combined with a significant increase in HGV movements and significant air-quality effects. The combination of effects on children, staff and parents using Haverstock School is predicted to result in a major adverse effect on their amenity.”

To put the words in context, Drummond Street, the historic curry area which borders the central Euston Station demolition site, is classed as only being “moderately” affected by HS2.

Mr Miliband, who went to Haverstock School in the 1980s, has given his full backing to HS2 despite rumblings of discontent from shadow Treasury secretary Ed Balls.

Another major path of lorries will be down Prince of Wales Road and Kentish Town High Road towards Camley Street, Agar Grove, and Hampstead, Road, Euston, where the major building sites will be.

In Primrose Hill, where the vent shaft is being built on a “wooded slope” next to Adelaide Road Nature Reserve, HS2 says it will take almost 10,000 tonnes of “landfill” away in lorries over a 15-month period.

Near that site, the report says that residents in 145 properties in King Henry’s Road, Beaumont Walk and Adelaide Road will experience “significant noise” and “significant visual effects associated with views of construction activities”.

The shaft is needed to provide relief to a 7.5 kilometre tunnel for trains leaving Euston and following the lines up to the top of Parkway and continuing on under Primrose Hill before emerging at Kilburn High Road.

The report adds: “Two roads, Parkway and Prince Albert Road, are predicted to have sufficiently large changes in traffic flows.”

In Kilburn, major traffic problems are expected with works that will shut Kilburn High Road.

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