HS2 this week launched a new mobile information centre, designed to help rural communities across Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, West Northants and South Warwickshire get easier access to information during the construction of the UK’s new high speed railway.
Officially launched in Brackley town centre on Tuesday, the vehicle will visit towns and villages across a largely rural 80km stretch of the project being delivered by HS2’s main works contractor EKFB – a specialist team made up of Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and BAM Nuttall.
The formal opening of the information centre was attended by the Mayor of Brackley, Cllr Don Thompson, with local people taking the opportunity to ask questions about the engineering works currently happening, or planned, within the Northants area.
Welcoming the new community initiative, Brackley Town Mayor, Cllr Don Thompson, said:
“I welcome the launch as it will give an opportunity for our residents to ask questions, voice any concerns and gather information they require.”
Much like mobile banks and police stations, the vehicle will park up at advertised times, giving residents a convenient and visible place to ask questions and meet HS2 and EKFB staff involved in the construction of the new railway line.
Over the next month, local residents are invited to meet the team at:
9th & 10th March: Bucks Skills Show
17th March: Finmere
23rd March: Greatworth
24th March: Coldharbour, Aylesbury
29th March: Wendover
31st March: Steeple Claydon
Pre-booking is not required, and people are free to drop in at any time. Future dates will be advertised on: HS2 Events - High Speed 2
Julie King, HS2 Ltd’s Community and Stakeholder Engagement Director said:
“It’s great to see the new mobile information centre ready to go and I hope that people living near our construction sites will take full advantage of the service over the coming years. All the stops will be advertised on our website and staff will be happy to help with any queries people may have about works in their local area.”
EKFB’s Head of Engagement, David Griffiths-Allen, said:
“The mobile centre will enable us to reach a good proportion of our local communities and new audiences such as younger people, families, local businesses and those who may be constrained by accessibility and what we’re providing is flexibility to those who want to engage with us.”
“The aim of having an accessible mobile visitor centre, ran by EKFB’s own engagement team, is to inform people about local construction work, listen to their concerns and let them know how the project can support jobs, skills and community projects in their areas.”
The launch of the mobile centre comes as work across the central section of the project continues to ramp-up with HS2 contractors focused on completing earthworks ready for rail infrastructure such as cut and cover ‘green tunnels’; and delivering initials works such as the haul roads and internal access roads which will give access to the main construction sites and reduce lorries on local road networks.
As well as visiting the mobile information centre, people living close to the line can also access information via the website – www.hs2.org.uk/in-your-area - by calling the helpdesk on 08081 434 434 or attending community events.