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County council to champion the cause of Staffordshire on HS2 in Parliament today

Staffordshire County Council will continue to champion the cause of the county and its communities on HS2  in Parliament today. (Monday)

Philip Atkins, Leader of the council, will be presenting the case for mitigating the impact of Phase 2a of the high speed rail project running from Fradley to Crewe – highlighting the need for a crucial extension of an underground tunnel.

Philip said:

From the very outset the county council has been committed to get the best outcome from HS2 for the county, for communities and for businesses in terms of mitigation, compensation, improved connectivity and a share in any economic benefits the project delivers.

As part of our lobbying on Phase One we achieved the lowering of five miles of the route in Lichfield and we will be back before the HS2 Select Committee putting forward our case for where key changes should be made to lessen the impact of this next phase on Staffordshire.”

In total the county council is petitioning on around 60 items including:

  • The major tunnel extension at Whitmore to mitigate the impact on the highways network and also Whitmore Wood ancient woodland if current proposals for a railhead at Stone go ahead
  • Lowering the height of the rail line as it passes through Kings Bromley on a viaduct
  • Greater mitigation for the proposed railhead and maintenance depot at Stone around noise, visual impact and transport planning issues in allowing access to site

Philip added:

As with Phase One, we have examined every mile of the further 33 miles that HS2 will run through Staffordshire in great detail to outline where we feel meaningful and practical changes can be made to the plans.

As well as petitioning on the tunnel design today at the select committee today, we have submitted around 60 petitioning points to  highlight the need for mitigation to help lessen the impact on our communities both during construction and when it is in operation.”

In total HS2 will run through 45 miles of Staffordshire and county council has also been supporting local communities who wanted to petition on items as part of its HS2 Community Support Fund.