A SIGNIFICANT rise in traffic along a highway by construction vehicles next year could force road users to exploit other routes resulting in “massive chaos” for neighbouring communities.

A “considerable ramping up” of HS2 activity scheduled for Spring 2021 could see construction traffic spilling over from the A413 onto ‘unauthorised’ networks, forcing other drivers to create ‘rat-runs’ in hilltop villages and lanes.

The unsettling picture for road users in Buckinghamshire was presented by Cllr Colin Sully during a Chesham and Villages Community Board.

READ MORE: Lockdown impacting homes in South Bucks more than anywhere in country

Cllr Sully, who is chairman of The Lee Parish Council, presented an “update” on HS2 outlining the latest programme of works between Wendover and Amersham, harvested from “various HS2 and contractor sources”.

He said the findings could impact areas such as Chartridge, Cholesbury and Chesham, Ashley Green, Chenies, Ley Hill and Latimer.

Cllr Sully cited imminent works at the South Portal, near Denham, underground efforts at the Amersham vent shaft, also Little Missenden and Great Missenden, and later business at the North Portal.

He said efforts to uncover how HS2 will mitigate a resulting rise in traffic had been fruitless and demanded “further clarity on the programme of works and the traffic implications”.

“HS2 Ltd and its contractors are required to only use the approved haulage routes for HGV vehicles,” according to a report.

“However, there appears to be nothing to prevent HS2-related LGVs, vans and cars using unapproved routes.

“There is local concern over the effects of subcontracting and whether HS2 Ltd will be able to police all HS2-related vehicles.”

Cllr Sully added: “What is clear is starting in the Spring of 2021 we will see a considerable ramping up of the impact on the A413 corridor, having a major effect on other areas.”

He said a haulage route is planned between South Heath and an area south of Wendover, adding: “Councillors have been trying for some time to find the detail of how HS2 propose to work this area without putting massive amounts of traffic on to the A413.

“How they can do these things without causing massive chaos on the roads and lanes locally is yet to be explained.”

Cllr Sully added civil engineering firm EKFB “keep promising details of traffic flows but none have been forthcoming”.

“Bucks Council have had some preliminary discussions on updated traffic flows, but this information has not been released to county, town and parish councillors, and community groups,” he said.

READ MORE: Councillor scolded for failing to show up to oppose development he spearheaded

Cllr Sully said a “programme” of planning applications are “about to hit” the unitary authority and a raft of submissions were put to the council in August, September, and October, but it is “not clear at all how we engage with that process”.

He noted the council’s ‘limited powers to refuse or amend applications’, adding: “Without proper scrutiny at the local level, as well as county, we cannot do justice to this”.

In his closing remarks, Cllr Sully said Chesham and Berkhamsted could see ‘unauthorised’ HGV activity and ‘hilltop traffic and rat-running to avoid congestion’ created by HS2.

He said HS2 had “failed to deliver” six hilltop traffic monitoring points as part of mitigation measures “promised” prior to construction and the public had not been “engaged on the design” of HS2, rather told “take it or leave it”.

Cllr Alan Bacon was told “nothing directly” when he asked what could “realistically be done” about ‘unauthorised’ HS2 traffic.

We’ve launched a new Facebook group for local news junkies, politics fans and everyone who wants to keep up to date with the latest issues affecting Buckinghamshire. Please join the conversation over at Buckinghamshire Politics