THOUSANDS of heavy goods vehicles may not have to disturb the peaceful tranquility of North Oxfordshire villages after a new report on the HS2 project was released.

Residents in Wardington, near Banbury, have campaigned for months against plans for lorries to drive past their homes as part of the building of the new high speed rail link.

The A361 passes through the village, which could carry vehicles travelling up from the M40 near Banbury.

The report said project leaders HS2 Ltd should look to reduce the volume of excavated earth needed at Lower Boddington.

Politicians also proposed an alternative “conveyor” route could be created along the A43.

Parish council vice-chairman Nigel Bankes, who founded a HS2 campaign group in the village, said he was pleased the report had been released.

He added: “We are very encouraged by the report but still feel there should be more done to move the spoil down the A43 road nearer to the train line.

“Although the plan would reduce the number of lorries going through the village, it is still an unsuitable route and there are much better working hours available too.

“It’s good that they have realised how impractical the scheme is and that there is further work to be done.

“We were very impressed though by the attention to detail from the committee members and their knowledge of the scheme.”

Banbury MP Victoria Prentis has supported the villagers’ campaign, and also spoke directly to the committee.

She said the report represented “positive steps” for the future of the project.
She added: “I am very pleased that the select committee has listened to those concerns.

“What is crucial now is to ensure these are fully actioned by HS2 Ltd.

“I will carefully monitor the progress of the company’s plans, and will do my best to ensure that the committee’s report is adhered to.”

At peak times more than a thousand HGV trips could be made through the village every day.

Under the current plans vehicles would be able to use the route between 8am and 6pm on weekdays and 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.

The report also encouraged the company to work with people in Mixbury, near Brackley, to help reduce the risk of horses being startled by passing vehicles.

The Government is hoping to open the London to Birmingham line by 2026.