HS2 – What to expect: Construction compounds will be ‘good neighbours’

Map showing location of main compound (yellow) near Fleet Marston. The brown areas are material stockpiles. The pink area is land that may be required during HS2's construction. The proposed line runs through the centre.
Map showing location of main compound (yellow) near Fleet Marston. The brown areas are material stockpiles. The pink area is land that may be required during HS2's construction. The proposed line runs through the centre.

They will be the nerve centres orchestrating HS2’s construction, containing everything from offices to living quarters.

And should the controversial train line get the green light, nearly 20 construction compounds could be in operation in our area within just a few years.

The compounds will directly manage the line’s construction. The bigger ones, such as the compound near Fleet Marston, will contain storage for bulk materials, offices, car parks, toilets and other welfare facilities, fuel storage, plant and equipment storage and even living accommodation.

Martin Wells HS2 Ltd’s petition manager for Bucks, said the final make-up of the sites has not yet been ironed out. But he added: “I would tell people to expect pretty much what you would expect from any major construction project. There will be security around it and hoardings. I would expect them to be well maintained.

“I appreciate some readers will have fairly limited experiences of living near these sort of sites but they are not unusual in places like Aylesbury with all the housing development going on.”

Construction of the line will generally take place from 8am to 6pm weekdays and 8am to 1pm Saturdays.

There will be of course be exceptions when activity goes on into the evening: “If we start pouring concrete we can’t stop and pour some later on,” said Mr Wells.

He said floodlighting the compounds 24/7 ‘is not in anybody’s interests’.

“We can provide security measures without going to those sort of extremes. We want to be a good neighbour. Each area has a liaison officer who is fully aware of what is likely to be going on at the site in the next week or months so they can have a conversation with interested parties to work out how it will impact on them and to make sure there doesn’t need to be more disruption than absolutely necessary.”

Most compounds will have between 100-200 staff at their peak. The number of cars and small lorries coming and going daily during peak times varies, but 190-260 at the main compound near Fleet Marston is certainly at the higher end.

The movement of construction vehicles will be confined where possible to specially made ‘haul roads’ running along the line.

However, it will still be necessary for HGVs to use public roads. The number of heavy vehicles going to and from compounds will usually reach around 20 at peak times but will reach an eye watering 730 per day at the Oxford Road compound near Fairford Leys due to its use as a ‘roadhead’ for the route-wide movement of earthworks materials.

Mr Wells said that compounds with residential accommodation have been built into their plans but it is hoped it can be avoided.

“We are not saying we will certainly have accommodation. If we can work around that we will do. It is not a given but it is possible.”

Should there be a need for living quarters, Mr Wells said they will be used during the week with workers going home at the weekend.

“What we are looking to do with the contractors is working out a best way for these people living on site to engage with local people.”

He said local businesses may welcome extra spending from workers coming out of the compounds, for example by spending their money in a restaurant or pub.

But he added: “The reality is it makes sense for these to be self-contained sites but I’m not suggesting people won’t come out of them under any circumstances.”


> Risbrough Road, Stoke Mandeville: 70 staff (peak 155) from 2017-2020. Work includes demolition, bridge construction, cuttings.

> Near Bishopstone, via Oxford Road: 60 staff (peak 130) from 2017-2020. Work includes realignment of Aylesbury to Risborough Chiltern line.

> Oxford Road, Aylesbury: Support 55 staff (peak 190) from 2018-2024 (inactive between 2021-2023). Work includes demolition, bridge construction, cuttings. Located just after Coldharbour Way roundabout.

> Near Berryfields roundabout, via Bicester Road: 95 staff (peak 150) from 2018-2020. Work includes construction of viaduct and bridges. Located west of Aylesbury Vale Parkway station, off Putlowes Drive.

> Bicester Road, near Fleet Marston (main compound): 60 staff (peak 100) from 2017-2024 (inactive 2021-2022). Also provide living accomodation for up to 200 people for three years. Work includes construction of embankment and brides.

> Bicester Road, near Grand Lodge, north of Waddesdon: 55 staff (peak 130) between 2017-2020. Work includes bridges, cuttings, embankments.

> Station Road, near Quainton: 45 staff (peak 100) from 2017-2020. Work includes bridges and cuttings.

> Edgcott Road, near Doddershall: 75 staff (peak 210) from 2017-2024. Work includes cuttings and rail systems installation.

> Perry Hill, Calvert (main compound): Compound will be built between 2016-2018. Until 2022 there will be 110 staff and from 2022-2025, 300 workers (peak 450). Work includes building of infrastructure maintenance depot and overseeing movement of route wide earthworks by rail using the Bicester to Bletchley line.

> School Hill, Calvert: 90 staff (peak 190) from 2016 to 2024. Work includes demolition and construction of bridges and viaducts.

> Small Dean Lane, off A413 London Road, south of Wendover (main compound): 90 staff (peak 135) from 2017-2021. Also provide living accomodation for up to 240 people. Work includes building viaduct.

> Leather lane, between The Lee and Wendover Dean: 75 staff (peak 130) from 2017-2018. Work includes construction of bridges and railway systems installation.

> Rocky Lane, Wendover Dean: 95 staff from 2018 to 2020. Work includes construction of viaduct.

> Bowood Lane, Wendover Dean: 65 staff (peak 125) from 2018-2020. Work includes construction of viaduct.

> A413 Wendover, near Ellesborough Road: 70 staff (peak 90) from 2017-2020. Will work on ‘green tunnel’.

> A413 Wendover, near Nash Lee Lane: 65 staff (peak 80) from 2018-2020. Will work on ‘green tunnel’.

> Nash Lee Road, Wendover: 30 staff (peak 45) from 2018-2025 (inactive 2021-2023). Work includes bridges.

Next week: Changing views