The negative effects of the Honeybourne Link described on the Detrimental Railway page would be amplified during construction of the rail line, causing additional problems, especially on the section through Stratford-upon-Avon.

SUMMARY

Traffic chaos and the danger of gridlock in parts of Stratford town, restrictions on the movement of pedestrians and cyclists, excessive noise, vibration, dust and pollution for homes and businesses all along the route, and the lives of locals and pleasure of tourists blighted:

  • Households and businesses could expect disruption to sewerage, water, drains, gas and electricity supplies for a considerable period.
  • Properties close to the proposed route would have to endure the inevitable noise, pollution and dust associated with this type of construction for a considerable period.
  • Claims for compensation could be expected.
  • Summerton Way is a natural wildlife corridor fringed with mature trees and a much-used public right of way with access points across to Stratford town centre. It would take years to recover from the damage caused by the railway, affecting people and wildlife.
  • It will be far worse along the Greenway, with its sensitive environment and abundance of wildlife including protected species. It would never be the same again.
  • Businesses, shops and hotels would all be affected and could suffer from lost trade and profit.
  • People living in other areas of Stratford and the outlying villages would not be immune to the adverse effects of the construction of this railway line.

TIME-SCALE

  • The 2012 Ove Arup GRIP 3 Report estimated a minimum of two years to build this railway. History teaches us that construction projects frequently extend beyond their estimated duration.
  • The stretch from Stratford Town rail station to the start of the Greenway will be particularly difficult and expensive due to road closures, traffic diversions, tunnelling and digging trenches.

MAIN CONSTRUCTION PROBLEMS IN STRATFORD

The main challenges are the three trenches and two tunnels that would carry the rail track from Stratford station down a sloping trench along Summerton Way, through a tunnel under Evesham Road roundabout, along Seven Meadows in a trench approximately 8 metres deep, through another tunnel under Wetherby Way and up a slope on to the Greenway:

  • They will account for a high proportion of the total project cost, effort and time and access to all areas will be restricted for pedestrians and traffic during construction.
  • The old rail route from Stratford rail station to the Greenway follows a curve. Constructing trenches and tunnels to follow this curve is more complicated than laying a surface track and adds time and cost to the project.
  • To straighten the rail track as much as possible, the trench in Severn Meadows Road would have to be positioned on the right hand side of the road when looking south and the road would be realigned to the left within the existing footprint.
  • The road bridge crossing Seven Meadows Road on Sanctus Street, providing a route from Evesham Road into Old Town and Shakespeare’s grave at Holy Trinity Church will need to be closed and rebuilt, or removed entirely, to allow for this realignment, as both of its piers will be compromised by the work.
  • There are currently a two-way road, a footpath and cycle way on one side and a footpath on the other side in Seven Meadows Road. Accommodating a railway trench may not leave enough space to maintain the status quo. Capping of the trench is a possible solution, but this would have cost implications to an already flimsy financial justification for the rail link.
  • The footpaths near Stratford College and the one leading to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage across Summerton Way, plus the right of way across Seven Meadows Road will close at some time during construction of the proposed railway and may be lost or be diverted post construction, restricting access for locals and visitors.
  • To meet a future provision for electrification, the trenches and tunnels will need to be wider and deeper than would otherwise be required. See Section 9.1.2 of the 2012 Ove Arup GRIP 3 Report.
  • This report does not mention the effect of the trench crossing Evesham Road. Sewers, water mains, drains, gas, electricity pipes and cables may need re-routing, adding time and cost to the project.

MULTIPLE LORRY JOURNEYS

Digging of trenches and tunnels would generate around 51,800 cubic meters of soil, requiring around 7,400 total lorry journeys to remove it from the site and for the empty lorry to return for the next load. This will cause huge traffic problems with dirt and noise in and around Stratford. We based these findings on the following:

  • Total soil to be excavated in Summerton Way, Seven Meadows Road and Wetherby Way = 13,824 + 25,190 + 12,800 = 51,814 cubic metres (51,800 rounded down to the nearest 100).
  • Divide the total soil excavated by an average truck capacity of 14 cubic metres, and double for return trip = 7,402 trips (7,400 rounded down to nearest 100).
  • These figures are the absolute minimum estimates and the actual figures may be higher due to possible excavation difficulties.

The calculations behind these headline figures are technical and complex. Whilst we do not feel that this website is the place for such detail, we would be happy to go through them with any interested parties. Please contact us for further details.

EFFECT ON STRATFORD TRAFFIC

  • Traffic travelling along Evesham Road, Shottery Road, Evesham Place, Seven Meadows Road, into Grove Road and Rother Street and all minor roads to and from the town will be severely affected.
  • To make matters worse, Seven Meadows Road from Wetherby Way to Evesham Road will close in the early stage of construction to allow contractors access to the site.
  • The closure of the bridge over Seven Meadows Road at Sanctus Road during construction, diverting even more traffic around the locality add to the problem.
  • Barring traffic from these roads would have severe consequences for the rest of the road network around Stratford.
  • Traffic entering the town from the south along Seven Meadows Road would be diverted into the Shipston Road, merging with the Banbury Road, thence to Bridge Foot leading to the Warwick Road or Birmingham Road and spreading the chaos further.
  • Traffic from the direction of Bidford-on-Avon arrives along Evesham Road and merges with that entering the town from the Seven Meadows Road at the Evesham roundabout crossing the rail tunnel. It continues north into Stratford along the Evesham Place and Arden Street route to the Birmingham Road and branches into Rother Street. Congestion would thus be fed into the heart of the town.
  • The building of 800 houses west of Ann Hathaway’s cottage will further increase traffic flowing along the Evesham Road, making a bad situation even worse.
  • Stratford is already near to traffic saturation at peak times and any additional disruption caused by construction traffic would be a recipe for gridlock.

IMPACT ALONG THE GREENWAY

  • There will be no access to the Greenway for walkers, cyclists, horse riders, families and those exercising their dogs whenever railway track is being laid or infrastructure constructed.
  • Boating on the River Avon would halt for the strengthening or replacement of Stannal’s Bridge.
  • Chamber’s Halt, Pearce’s, Knobb’s Farm, Airfield and Wyre Lane crossings of the Greenway would shut at various times for bridges to be built preventing the passage of pedestrians, vehicles and farm animals.
  • Milcote Road would shut and traffic diverted whilst a road bridge was constructed.
  • The permissive bridleway from Milcote Road to Long Marston would shut during construction.

EFFECT FROM LONG MARSTON TO HONEYBOURNE

  • Station Road at Long Marston would shut during the building of a road bridge and the possible construction of a new station.
  • Diverted road traffic will pass through the centre of Long Marston.
  • Visitors to Long Marston would reduce when the Greenway was closed during construction, affecting businesses in the village.
  • There may be traffic restrictions or road closures between Long Marston and Honeybourne during work on the various road bridges.
  • Several farm crossings will close.
  • Honeybourne rail station will be disrupted whilst the new track and platform are built alongside the existing ones.

E&OE

See what you can do to help avoid the above problems on the Take Action page