Worried council prepares official response to ‘crackpot’ HS2 plans

HS2 has been slammed as a “crackpot idea” which won’t benefit local residents by councillors in Northwich as they prepare to submit an official response to the project’s consultation.

Members of Northwich Town Council, as reported in the Northwich Guardian, voted to form a working group of three councillors in order to examine the latest HS2 plans in detail before they respond to a consultation ahead of its deadline of 21 December.

The second phase of HS2 will see roads rerouted and homes demolished for the multi-billion-pound high speed rail route which will run through Cheshire.

It will permanently cut off part of Morrisons’ distribution centre parking at Gadbrook Park, and building the Phase 2b route will see a number of construction compounds along the route.

In a report by Northwich Council in 2017 in response to the original plans for HS2, the council said it was “deeply concerned” that HS2 Ltd were planning on building the route through the current historic salt working south and east of the town.

It said that the revised HS2 route will have “a substantial impact on the residents, infrastructure and ecology of Mid-Cheshire,” which has led to the town council having a number of serious reserves.

The three-man group will be made up of Andrew Cooper, Mitch Rowley and Tom Melville, all councillors at Northwich.

Cooper said: “The route itself doesn’t touch Northwich parish, but we have a wider responsibility to comment on things that will affect people in the town. This certainly will.

“Anybody who commutes to Manchester or anywhere near the planned route will certainly be impacted.

“It looks as if they are going to cut off access to Road One and Gadbrook Park for a long time. This could have an absolutely catastrophic effect on jobs and livelihood in mid Cheshire.”

Also speaking at the meeting as reported by the Northwich Guardian, Cllr Derek Bowden said: “I have become a regular commuter for Manchester in recent months, and often it’s an hour – if you don’t choose the right time – to go three or four miles.

“I have asked around for a business case for HS2 and how it is beneficial at a national and local level and no one has been able to offer one. This is a crackpot project, but it’s there and we have to deal with it and it’s no good squawking.”

HS2 Phase 2a will run between Birmingham and Crewe, passing through Cheshire on its way up to Manchester and Leeds as part of Phase 2B.

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Image credit - Marbury


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