HS2. High Speed Rail Construction. Common Design Elements Consultation.

Viaduct with piers and parapets in a rural setting. Illustration from HS2 Consultation Document.

A Consultation Document has been published by HS2, which states as follows:

Common Design Elements are parts of the railway with a standardised appearance which will give it a recognisable look and make it more efficient to build. They include frequently used structures, such as bridge piers and parapets, as well as lineside noise barriers.

Since Parliament approved plans for the Phase One route in 2017, we’ve been developing the design of the new railway and now we need your views to help inform how we progress with the Common Design Elements.

We want all the visible elements of HS2 to be sympathetic to their
surroundings, including the character of the area. Common Design
Elements will help us with this.

We want to hear what people think about three different Common
Design Elements:

a. Parapets (part of bridges and viaducts) 
b. Piers (another part of bridges and viaducts)
c. Lineside noise barriers (used to compensate for the sound
of high speed trains)


Basically these elements will all be constructed of reinforced concrete and comments on them are restricted to whether the surfaces of parts of them should be smooth faced or patterned and/or textured in some way. The parts in question are shown in blue on the following diagrams from the consultation document:


Image of a Cross section through a viaduct

Image of a Side view of a viaduct

Click here to see the HS2 booklet from which these illustrations are drawn.

This matter was considered by the Parish Council at the meeting on Thursday 9th January, as follows:

Most of the line in the vicinity of Sulgrave Parish will be in the covered cutting shaded green on this map from the HS2 Section of this website. (More details of the construction works in the vicinity of Sulgrave Parish can be seen in that section.)


Map of Sulgrave (scale 1000 metres)

After the opening of the railway, those crossing it on the way to Marston St Lawrence will look to the left and see a landscape similar to today’s, hopefully with a lot more trees. If they look to their right they will see a cutting in the blue area, into which trains will emerge from the covered cutting and continue on an embankment and then a viaduct between Thorpe and Culworth, heading towards Edgcote Park. The Council generally considered that whether some parts of the concrete structure is patterned or not will have no effect on the general impact of the construction as far as Sulgrave is concerned. Having said that, those living near to the structures in other parishes may have a different view. The main concern of the Council remains the mitigation as far as possible of the disruption which will inevitably be caused by the construction works.

However, the Common Design Elements Consultation is a public one and so everyone is entitled to comment by completing the survey:

Click here to access the HS2 Survey.

This must be done by Thursday 30th January.


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