Sleepless nights in Wardington due to HS2 roadworks


Resident contacts Banbury FM in frustration at night time works outside his home – but HS2 confirm work should now be complete

A Wardington villager has spoken out after suffering sleepless nights due to HS2 related roadworks happening right outside his front door through the night.   Barry Whitehouse managed just a couple of hours sleep on Monday night whilst road workers resurfaced the A361 just outside his property.

Mr Whitehouse had returned home from work late on Monday evening.   His property sits right against the pavement. He told us, “We’ve had roadworks, both day and evening, intermittently since April.  

“My house is quite old.   It was shaking and vibrating.   The jack hammers, the massive plant machinery dragging the loosened tarmac, the scraping noise is constant and last night it went on for hours and hours.

“I fell asleep around quarter to two just from exhaustion”.

Light from the floodlights on the vehicles added to Mr Whitehouse’s frustrations.

The roadworks in Wardington are to widen the carriageway to allow for larger HS2 construction vehicles to use the route when work on the high-speed rail line between London and the North begins locally.   Further up the A361 a bypass is being built around the village of Chipping Warden.

When Mr Whitehouse woke up at 5am the overnight work appeared to have concluded for the night as it was quiet outside.   But by 7.30am the daytime team were back on site setting up temporary traffic lights and preparing to begin their work.

Mr Whitehouse, who runs The Artery Shop in Parson’s Street, Banbury, told us he is not against the principle of the HS2 project.   He said, “In principle I think having HS2 to link the north to the south is a great premise.   Anything that can bridge the north-south divide is wonderful.  However, the fact that it won’t be stopping through where I live and I won’t get any benefit from it … it is sort of our suffering for the gain of others.   It’s not great when you are having to live through it”.

Banbury FM spoke to HS2 who were able to give Mr Whitehouse the good news that the main work through Wardington was now complete.   Some small jobs, such as line painting, remained to be done, but this would not require noisy machinery.  

An HS2 spokesperson said, “The new pedestrian crossing and road widening and improvement work in Wardington will improve road safety in the village and provide long term benefits for the community both before, during and after the completion of HS2.

 “Most of the work is now complete. Our contractors worked closely with the local highways authority to reduce disruption for residents and local road users during the works, with overnight works undertaken to minimise disruption to the A361 highway corridor and to ensure they could be completed safely.  The remaining works within Wardington will be undertaken in August during the day”.

When construction of the high-speed line begins locally HS2 has confirmed to Banbury FM there will be a maximum of 500 HGV journeys through the village each day.   This will be at the peak of construction work in a few years’ time and only during normal working hours.    HS2 told us their contractors were working to push these numbers down between now and the start of construction work.

The view of night time roadworks in Wardington from Barry Whitehouse’s property

You can listen to our interview with Barry Whitehosue here:

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

Reader's opinions
  1. R. Rushton   On   05/08/2020 at 2:53 pm

    Just wondering where the majority of the 500 HGV lorries will be coming from and will they be arriving 24/7? One would assume that the majority will all come via the M40 …
    Another question if I may. I believe I am right in saying that when HS2 was first talked about Wardington was told that a new road would be built to by-pass the village, which obviously hasn’t happened. Is this correct?

    • Barry Whitehouse   On   08/08/2020 at 9:10 am

      Wardington won’t be getting a new road or bypass, that’s what these road works are for. The heavy goods work vehicles when the actual work starts will be using the M40 and driving through Wardington and the Chipping Warden bypass. We’ve been advised that there will be roughly one heavy goods vehicle every two minutes per side, per hour, per working day using these roads. Combine that with the usual heavy traffic on the road and it’s certainly going to be interesting for those who live here.

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