‘The benefits would be huge’: Chiefs push for new bypass

Waddesdon High Street and (below) Councillor David Vick and the Five Arrows
Waddesdon High Street and (below) Councillor David Vick and the Five Arrows

A village bypass which would slash driving times to the M40 and ease congestion has been proposed by officials.

Discussions are at an early stage to build the route around Waddesdon, which has suffered for years from traffic travelling on the busy A41.

Bucks County Council officials and the National Trust have opened discussions on the plan and it has the backing of Waddesdon’s district councillor, David Vick.

Steps to build a bypass began after HS2 was announced and it emerged much of the HGV traffic removing spoil from the route cutting would travel through Waddesdon, should the rail line be built. Mr Vick said this would be ‘totally unacceptable’ and that a bypass might be the solution.

At a recent meeting, county council representatives raised the idea with HS2 Ltd officials.

Neil Cowie, HS2 Ltd area manager for country south, said: “Though it has not to date been part of our plans for this part of the route we have agreed to consider their proposal in more detail.”

A Waddesdon bypass has been offered over the years by a number of developers, but with the payback of thousands of houses being built, an idea villagers have rejected. However, it is thought HS2 Ltd would cover most, if not all, of the cost of a bypass, although it is not known what this would be.

Mr Vick said: “The benefits of a relief road for the population of Waddesdon as a whole would be huge.

“One would hope that once traffic volumes drop, that the heart returns to Waddesdon, and as a result the village centre could be welcoming to local residents once more.”

However, there are likely to be opponents to the scheme, particularly businesses that could lose out on passing trade.

Mr Vick said: “I am sure it will have an impact on passing trade, but Waddesdon is growing and it’s quite busy. I think the positives would outweigh the negatives.”

Despite this, one business the Bucks Herlad spoke to said a bypass would be welcomed if HS2 went ahead. The Five Arrows hotel, located right by the A41 in Waddesdon, said guests staying in rooms overlooking the road often complain traffic noise affects their sleep.

Chloe Pepper, Five Arrows events manager, said: “We are against HS2 but the building of a bypass could have its benefits.

“I would be less worried by the loss of passing trade than the current problem with the noise from the road.”

Other parishes in the area have been presented with the idea of a bypass, which would link with the A41 via the north of Waddesdon. When county officials discussed the plan with Quainton Parish Council, they got a mixed response.

Arthur Evans, Quainton Parish Council chairman, said: “We appreciate that Waddesdon needs a bypass, but worry about how it might effect our village with regards to our present routes to the village and possible noise from the road.”

The building of a Waddesdon bypass with county council backing would no doubt infuriate Aylesbury residents who have long called for such a route to help ease the town’s congestion problems.

Despite such a move being backed by Aylesbury MP David Lidington and thousands of people, county council officials have repeatedly said they do not think a bypass is the solution to the town’s traffic woes, preferring to encourage residents to leave their cars at home.