New Amersham Bus Service Shows Neighbourliness

Stakeholders assured. Locals satisfied. Programme proceeds without delay.

These statements are all outcomes from Fusion’s collaboration with HS2, the Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and Buckinghamshire Council, which has resulted in a free bus service being provided to enable the works to proceed on the Amersham Vent Shaft road junction.

The bus service was in place in time for last Monday’s closure of a section of Whielden Lane (from Amersham Hospital up to the A404).

Observing social distancing, the new service will run for seven weeks from 7am – 6:30pm,, until the scheduled works completion date on Saturday 4 July, taking passengers from the operational Gore Hill bus stops in the town to the hospital. It will be operated by Carousel Buses, a local company that runs other services in the area. Access for pedestrians and cyclists will also be maintained throughout our works.

The impact of COVID-19-related restrictions on the previous voluntary patient transport service and due to the increased number of visiting outpatients diverted from other hospitals, it was clear there would be additional need for a local bus service.

“The team pulled off a blinder,” remarked Neil Stevenson, C1 Construction Manager. “They got all the necessary approvals and contracts in place in less than a week, providing continuity of access for the community, avoiding impact on them and any delay to our works commencing.”

The construction works includes traffic island modifications, upgrading street signage, introducing new junction traffic lights, vegetation clearance and modifications to the existing cycleway and footpath. The works will provide safety and capacity improvements for motorists, pedestrians and HS2-related traffic during the construction of the vent shaft which will be carried out by Align.

“I am delighted to get this one over the line in a short space of time,” added Richard Calvert, Head of Community Engagement. “There was great potential for community reputational damage for the HS2 programme.

“I would like to thank  everyone involved, including Joel Sykes and Luke Nipen (HS2’s Interface Manager for C1 and Area Central Senior Engagement Manager respectively) for their extensive involvement and effort with the Hospital Trust and the Council.

Glenn Tobin, our Undertakings & Assurances Coordinator, Toney McCunnie Highways Project Manager, Nicholas Considine from the Fusion Consents Team and  Adetayo Adeleye, Junctions Engineer also deserve high levels of praise.

“I must also thank the team at Forkers who adopted a ‘we can do it’ approach from the outset. The Council and bus company also deserve our recognition.

“A significant amount of collaborative effort has been expended to get to this solution. This is the demonstration of neighbourliness in action on the HS2 project.”

“A great team effort added Bob Dobinson, C1 Highways Junctions Lead. “The dedication and efforts of the whole team both HS2, Fusion, the NHS Trust and Buckinghamshire Council working together ensured that we provided pedestrians, hospital staff and the bus travelling public with a reliable and safe means to access Amersham Hospital ”