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Call for Network Rail to reconsider closure of road for Western Rail Link to Heathrow

Call for Network Rail to reconsider closure of road for Western Rail Link to Heathrow

Buckinghamshire Council has urged Network Rail to reconsider its plans to close a road which connects Iver and Slough if permission for a new rail link is granted.

The railway company, part of the Department for Transport (DfT), wants to build a 6.5km rail link connecting the Great Western Main Line and Heathrow Airport.

The Western Rail Link to Heathrow (WRLtH) would shorten journey times from Slough to Heathrow to six minutes but it would lead to the permanent closure of Hollow Hill Lane.

Buckinghamshire Council, Iver Parish Council and Colne Valley Regional Park have teamed up to ask Network Rail to reconsider the closure of Hollow Hill Lane.

Nick Naylor, Buckinghamshire Council’s cabinet member for transport said the national project was causing ‘uncertainty and difficulties’ for local residents.

He said: “I and the five local councillors are working with the parish council and Colne Valley Regional Park to make the case that Network Rail should reconsider the closure of Hollow Hill Lane or to properly mitigate against the impact that construction and traffic will have on the road network in Iver.

“They will be the ones affected by emissions from lorries used to construct the project or cars diverted into Iver because they can no longer use Hollow Hill Lane.”

A spokesman from Network Rail said extensive consultations with communities and stakeholders since 2015 means plans have been designed to minimise the impact on the environment and local communities.

He said: “The section of Hollow Hill Lane that runs under Chequers Bridge, near Langley station would need to close as a result of the proposed scheme, as the lines for the new railway are at a similar level to the road.

“As a result of feedback received during public consultation we have, and continue to, work with the local highway authorities to understand the impact of the proposed permanent closure of the section of Hollow Hill Lane.

“Detailed modelling of traffic flows using the Slough Multi Modal traffic model has enabled us to identify possible improvements and changes to a number of road junctions that will help to mitigate the impact of the road closure on the surrounding area.”

He added that delivery of the WRLtH scheme remains subject to a satisfactory business case and the agreement of acceptable terms with Heathrow aviation industry as part of the application for a development consent order. This would be required to grant permission to build a new railway.

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