HS2 – What to Expect: Impact on tourist attractions

The Buckinghamshire Railway Centre in Quainton stands to be affected by HS2
The Buckinghamshire Railway Centre in Quainton stands to be affected by HS2

Key attractions in the Vale are set to be seriously affected by HS2. But ironically none would be left more conflicted than the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre in Quainton.

Although priding itself on supporting the railways, the working steam train centre could lose part of its valuable overflow car park to the scheme containing 600 spaces.

But the centre’s chiefs are taking an even-handed approach to the plans and are working with HS2 chiefs to try to achieve a satisfactory outcome.

Spokesman Adrian Aylward said: “It is difficult for us because we would lose part of our overflow car park facility.

“The route of the line goes through it.

“But as a railway organisation we are obviously broadly supportive of railway developments.

“We are working with the authorities and HS2 Ltd to make sure we maintain access to our premises. This will have an impact on our business and the deliveries we can receive.

“A viewing platform was suggested but it was a little bit tongue in cheek.”

He added: “We are trying to work with them rather than against them. We are stuck in the middle a little bit because the community are up in arms about it.”

Other attractions which are set to be affected include Aylesbury Park Golf Club in Aylesbury and the Bucks Goat Centre in Stoke Mandeville.

The golf club stands to lose 10 of the course’s 18 holes to the high speed rail development, while the goat centre could see a relocated road cut through part of its grounds.

A spokesman for the Goat Centre said: “There’s nothing 100% on their plans and it’s all rumours and ideas at the moment.

“We heard they are going to relocate the road which might cut off a bit of our land but we don’t know yet.

“We have discussed relocation with the council, but it all depends on what their final plans are.”

The grounds of Hartwell House and Waddesdon Manor would also be affected by HS2.

The route through the grounds of Hartwell has already been changed by planners to avoid going too close to the historic building, and the high speed train would skirt the grounds of the manor.

A spokesman for the National Trust which runs both the properties, said: “We believe that the route proposed for Phase 1 of HS2 will impact adversely on the conservation of special places which we are charged under statute to conserve for the nation, and on the operation of those places, affecting the experience of our visitors.”