Focusing on ensuring Staffordshire and its communities get the best deal from HS2 will continue to be a key priority for the county council – as the bill to start construction on Phase One received Royal Assent today.
The HS2 Hybrid Bill on the phase running from London to the West Midlands, which will pass through 12 miles of Staffordshire, has cleared the final stages at both the House of Commons and House of Lords today, which means plans for construction can begin immediately.
Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for HS2, said the county council was unwavering in getting the best deal for Staffordshire at every stage, including proper compensation, mitigating the impact on the landscape, improving connections and sharing in the economic benefits.
The Royal Assent effectively means the legal green light for plans for construction to start on Phase One of HS2. We remain absolutely committed to make sure we get the best result we can for Staffordshire and with construction now in the pipeline we will also be working hard to minimise disruption in the county every step of the way.
In Phase One we successfully managed to get the route lowered in Lichfield area for 5 miles to significantly minimise the impact on communities and with Phase 2a around the corner the county council will continue to ensure that the voice of Staffordshire people is heard loud and clear.”
The construction of the Handsacre Link has been included in final plans and will allow people in Staffordshire, Shropshire and the Black Country to access HS2 compatible trains via a HS2 hub in Stafford, leading to faster journey times to London and direct links to Birmingham Airport.
Phase 2a which covers a further 33 miles of route running from Fradley through Lichfield, Stafford and Newcastle to Crewe is at the beginning of the parliamentary process. Deposit of the Hybrid Bill is currently expected during summer 2017, with the view to getting Royal Assent in 2019.
Phase 2b from Crewe to Manchester and the Midlands to Leeds and South Yorkshire will be subject to a separate Hybrid Bill. For further information on HS2 in Staffordshire please see www.staffordshire.gov.uk/HS2