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Local anger and Ealing Council concern over HS2 plans that could see Old Oak Common Lane in Acton closed for up to four years

Residents living next to work being done on building Old Oak Common station and the HS2 high-speed railway are shocked that HS2 is said to be considering closing Old Oak Common Lane in Acton for up to four years. 

On finding out about the plans, Ealing Council has told EALING.NEWS it was: “very surprised to hear about the proposed closure of Old Oak Common Lane as this was not raised with us during the last senior level meeting with HS2. This will be devastating for residents.”

Locals have raised concerns that the work will add to the current “misery” they face with constant disruption in the area including temporary traffic lights as well as noise which they say impacts their day to day lives.

HS2 told EALING.NEWS that work will need to be done to: “build new rail bridges, and lower and widen Old Oak Common Lane to allow for double decker buses to serve the station.”

The works in the area cover three London boroughs – Ealing, Brent and Hammersmith & Fulham.

 

At a recent meeting between HS2 and locals living in Wells House Road, HS2 said there are a number of options it is considering for the complex work required in the area where the new Old Oak Common station is being built.

 

Posting on social media, one local said the impact of closure which cause major disruptions as well as concerns over how emergency services would be able to respond. They said: “This would impact not just residents in the area but Harlesden and beyond, it would impact Park Royal Business. It would impact any emergency services getting through (especially with Victoria Road constant flooding).”

They added: “It would have an impact on all the residents health with constant gridlock traffic!. It would impact any new housing development as most developers would be put of trying to build in the area! It would cut off East Acton residents from Park Royal etc. It impacts are too many to mention.

“Any people in an around Scrubs Lane would be impacted, as all the lorries would be fighting their way through that narrow artery. Any emergency vehicle, be it ambulances or fire engines would be stuck In complete grid lock with no possibility of bypassing it.”

Another local said: “Everywhere you go there are delays due to HS2, they should be compensating everyone due to the diabolical disruptions we are facing every day. It’s misery driving around this area due to HS2.”

One resident who recently moved into Wells House Road told EALING.NEWS that they are now looking to move out.  They said: “I only moved here in the autumn but can’t see myself wanting to extend my rental. The constant noise and travel congestion with temporary lights is really frustrating. It will only get worse if they close Old Oak Common. It’s bad enough as it is.  The sheer scale of the HS2 work is enormous and you don’t realise how it impacts the quality of your life unless you live here.”

Speaking to EALING.NEWS, an Ealing Council spokesperson said: “We know that many residents in Northolt and Acton continue to be substantially impacted by HS2, and our priority has always been to ensure that local disturbances are mitigated as much as possible.”

They added: “We were very surprised to hear about the proposed closure of Old Oak Common Lane as this was not raised with us during the last senior level meeting with HS2. This will be devastating for residents, and we have asked for an urgent meeting with HS2. We continue to be in active discussion with HS2 and the local community in order to secure the best possible outcomes for residents across the borough.”

An Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation spokesperson told EALING.NEWS: “While we do not have the powers to approve or reject traffic management plans and road closures, we appreciate the concern felt by local residents about these proposed road closures.”

They added: “We are working closely with HS2 and the local highways authority to mitigate disruption and, wherever possible, ensure that the duration of the road closures are kept to an absolute minimum.”

Local business group, West London Chambers told EALING.NEWS of its concerns.  In a joint statement, Sally Smith, COO and Alan Rides, CEO said: “In the long run business will only benefit from HS2 ending at Old Oak Common, but in the short term, the proposed closure of Old Oak Common Lane for four years does seem excessive.”

They added: “TFL have to mitigate the local traffic flow issues as best they can, keeping the disruption time as short as possible for all to remember the benefits; this should be the focal point for TFL, to find a way to reduce the time limit.”

Speaking to EALING.NEWS, an HS2 spokesperson said: “In order to undertake utility diversion works, build new rail bridges, and lower and widen Old Oak Common Lane to allow for double decker buses to serve the station, we need to close Old Oak Common Lane for a period of time.”

They added: “HS2 takes it responsibilities to local communities very seriously and we try to minimise impacts wherever possible. We are in dialogue with residents about the works required and the options for the closure of Old Oak Common Lane.”

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