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A355 Improvements Project

Scheme overview

Where: Beaconsfield
When: Planned completion by Spring 2019
Status: The scheme was granted full panning consent in September 2017. Detailed design completed for approval in December 2017. Preconstruction activities in Jan – March 2018 and construction programmed to commence in the spring of 2018.
Summary:

The A355 provides the main north-south route through the South Bucks District, connecting Amersham and the A413 in the north to Beaconsfield and the M40, and on to Slough in the south. As a result it accommodates high volumes of traffic, comprising high proportions (up to 55%) of through traffic. The project will deliver improvements to reduce congestion particularly at the London End roundabout where congestion will be halved  and to improve journey times on this key connection to the M40.

Scheme plan (northern and southern section)

 Scheme plan (northern and southern section)

About the project

In March 2014, Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Economic Partnership (BTVLEP), in conjunction with Buckinghamshire County Council, submitted its Strategic Economic Plan to the Department for Transport. This submission identified a portfolio of transport and economic development priorities for Buckinghamshire over the coming years, to enable and support growth throughout the county. Working together, Buckinghamshire County Council and the BTVLEP have secured £44 million of funding through the Local Growth Deal to take forward major infrastructure schemes, including transport and highways enhancements. One of these schemes was the A355 Improvements project which was awarded £6.05m in 2016

The A355 provides the main north-south route through the South Bucks District, connecting Amersham and the A413 in the north to Beaconsfield and the M40, and on to Slough in the south. As a result, it accommodates high volumes of traffic, comprising high proportions (up to 55%) of through traffic. The improvements will reduce congestion and improve journey times on this key connection to the M40, as well as improving north/south transport connectivity to promote economic growth across Buckinghamshire.

Cabinet Member Decision was taken in February 2016, confirming the design options which will be adopted for each component of this project and a public exhibition was held on 22 April 2016 in Beaconsfield Town Hall, with a positive response. The scheme is believed to be widely supported by local communities and feedback from this event helped to inform the preparation of the planning application for the Relief Road portion of this scheme. The materials that were displayed at this event are available below. The County Council and BTVLEP are eager to work with the local community to ensure the delivery of the best solution that will address long standing traffic issues and improve the A355 corridor.

Milestones

The Project has recently passed a major milestone by successfully obtaining planning permission. The application was heard by the BCC Development Control Committee on 31st July and was approved with a number of conditions. Because the project is located in Green Belt, the planning application required approval from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. Having reviewed the decision by the BCC Development Control Committee the Secretary of State took the decision not to call in the application but to push it back to BCC for approval. The formal Planning Notice was issued on the 3rd September 2017.

All documentation is available via the public access website.

The Project is programmed to start construction works in the spring of 2018 and scheduled to complete works by spring 2019 in order to allow HS2 construction traffic to utilise the new relief road from summer 2019.

BCC has appointed Balfour Beatty to manage the detailed design phase of the scheme. A contractor to carry out the construction of the scheme is expected to be commissioned in January 2018. 

Archaeological searches were completed during the spring 2017, and further pre-construction activities such as ground investigation and ecology works were completed in the autumn 2017.

A355Work streams

The A355 Improvements Scheme is delivered in two parts:

  • BCC is delivering the Northern section from Maxwell Road to Minerva Way.
  • Inland Homes is delivering the Southern section from Minerva Way to Pyebush roundabout (which will also include an access road to Wilton Park housing site). The Southern Section gained planning approval in October 2014.

Risk

All construction schemes come with risks, and the main risks of the A355 scheme include:

  • Alignment of programme with Inland Homes construction of the Southern section
  • Completing the scheme to budget before the Summer of 2019

We would like to hear from you!

For questions and queries please contact the BCC Project Team below:

Abby Harper (Project Support Officer) – hitmailbox@buckscc.gov.uk

Ulrika Diallo (Lead Officer) – udiallo@buckscc.gov.uk

If you would like to sign up to receive e-bulletins via email, please contact us at hitmailbox@buckscc.gov.uk so that we can add you to our mailing list.

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