HS2 - the Long Term View?04 November 2013
We are very much in the throes of the possible birth of HS2 at the moment, and it is already difficult from a waterways point of view. However, assuming it does go ahead and get built, what of the long term view?
Les Etheridge, National Chairman, and Gren Messham, IWA’s HS2 Campaign and Communications Group Chair, met with Canal & River Trust’s Architectural Team of Marcus Chaloner and Peter Chowns late in October at Little Venice. They outlined their approach of establishing a ‘design envelope’ for HS2 on CRT property and affected waterways settings. This is intended to provide a clear framework to ensure HS2 and their contractors design and implement structures and landscapes which, within the context of functional high speed railway and canal networks, represent high quality design and avoid many of the pitfalls waterway users see and experience every day.
The design framework will be in the form of written guidelines with detail design examples and approaches, which when complete will be available and required for use by HS2 when doing detailed design on their structures to be built on , alongside or over CRT waterways. The guidelines are based on Marcus Chaloner and Peter Chown’s experiences of the waterway network and of good and bad examples of crossings and major infrastructure design. IWA supports this approach, as HS2 represents a ‘once in a lifetime’ chance to get things right and add to, rather than detract from, the waterway environment.
There is a lot of hard bargaining to be done with HS2 Ltd before Marcus and Peter’s work is agreed and established. However, IWA wishes them every success. ‘We very much support this work, and look forward to seeing their principles included in CRT’s undertaking with HS2’ said Les Etheridge at the conclusion of the meeting.