Councils listen to public feeling and change location of contractor's compound

Original plans to site a works compound on the Rye have been changed in response to strong community concerns and opposition from local councillors.

The contractor’s compound for High Wycombe town centre improvement works will now be located on the eastern part of Railway Place car park. This location is close to the planned road improvement works and is already hard surfaced. The contractor’s compound will be laid out to make the best use of space to ensure that, while 60 car parking spaces will be out of action for the duration of the works, 112 spaces will still remain available to the public for use while the compound is in use.

Entry to Railway Place car park will be closed from Sunday 1 July at 4pm so that contractors can start to set up the compound and rearrange the car park. It will then reopen on Thursday 5 July at 7am with 112 parking spaces. The site compound within the car park will be in operation until May 2019.

Wycombe District Council is giving up space at its Queen Victoria Road offices to make way for the site office in order to reduce the impact of the contractor’s compound and to minimise the loss of public parking spaces at Railway Place.

There will also be free use of the Park and Ride service from Handy Cross Hub (HXH) Monday to Friday while the compound is at Railway Place.

Once the project is completed all the spaces will be returned to service with an extra 22 spaces created as part of the rearrangement of the spaces within the car park. The capacity of the car park will then increase from its present number of 167 to 189 spaces.

Cllr Dominic Barnes, Deputy Leader at Wycombe District Council said: “There’s no easy way to set up a works compound on this scale which doesn’t have a knock on effect for some people. We have acted on the strong reaction to using the Rye, which is a jewel in the crown of the town used by thousands of people for recreation. We have listened and we’ve responded with a different plan. We’ve worked hard to minimise the impact this will have, but we are asking for people to understand why we need to do this and to bear with us.”

Mark Shaw, Buckinghamshire County Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Transportation said: "This scheme will improve the look of the area around Queen Victoria Road and Easton Street to encourage visitors, shoppers and businesses. The aim is to make it safer and better for motorists and pedestrians.  We recognise that a number of car park spaces will be temporarily lost to house the compound, but we will do our best to minimise disruption over the next few months".

Leaflets about the temporary changes to parking provision at Railway Place are being delivered to local residents and businesses and there will be information on Wycombe District Council and Bucks County Council websites and social media channels.

Members of the project team will be on site at Railway Place car park to answer questions in person from 2pm to 8pm on Thursday 28 June.

The site compound will serve the next stage of highway improvements in High Wycombe which will open up Easton Street and Queen Victoria Road for two way traffic and make changes to traffic lights. These improvements will make journey times quicker for many road users using the main route, improve air quality, and also help to regenerate the town centre, making it a more attractive place to live, work and visit.

The work is part of an ambitious £14 million investment in the High Wycombe town centre Masterplan (HWTCMP) which includes the work that has already been completed on the Alternative Route. The HWTCMP is a partnership project between Buckinghamshire County Council, Wycombe District Council and Buckinghamshire and Thames Valley Local Economic Partnership with funding secured from the Government’s Local Growth Fund.

Notes to editors

Park and Ride

To mitigate the loss of parking, the Park and Ride service will be free to all users from Handy Cross Hub (HXH) to the town centre Monday to Friday until the project is completed in May 2019. There is ample free parking at the Handy Cross Hub (HXH) Park and Ride car park and a frequent service into and back from the town centre on the PR1 service.

Alternative parking is also available at Easton Street, the Swan and Dovecot multi storey car parks. When car parks are busy, Dovecot multi storey tends to have the most spare capacity.

Easton Street small compound

The small compound on the central island off Easton Street will reduce the number of times the contractors will need to access the main compound in Railway Place. To allow for safe access there will be no right turn for traffic leaving from St John’s Place and the BCC Office – vehicles will instead need to turn left onto London Road and can turn at the Gordon Road roundabout.