Focusing on ensuring Staffordshire gets the best deal from HS2 continues to be a key priority for the county council – as the bill to grant permission for construction, operation and maintenance of the next phase of HS2 progresses in Parliament.
The HS2 Bill on Phase 2a, running from the West Midlands to Crewe, has now cleared its second reading in the Commons and moved a step closer to gaining Royal Assent to give the powers to construct the second phase. If approved, Phase 2a would run through a further 33 miles of Staffordshire and would see the construction of new railway lines between the West Midlands (at Fradley) and Crewe.
Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for HS2, said the county council was determined to get the best deal for Staffordshire at every stage, ensuring communities voices were heard, mitigating the impact on the environment, improving connections and sharing in the economic benefits.
We remain absolutely committed to make sure we get the best result we can for Staffordshire and will be working hard to both minimise the impact along every mile of the route and to make sure that Staffordshire residents and businesses share in any economic benefits HS2 delivers.”
In Phase One we successfully managed to get the route lowered for five miles to significantly minimise the impact on communities and also secured the construction of the Handsacre Link which will allow people from Staffordshire, Shropshire and the Black Country to access HS2 compatible trains via Stafford. We now plan to ensure we get the best deal we can as plans for Phase 2a progresses and will be petitioning to mitigate the impact of the scheme on factors such as noise, environmental concerns and construction.”
Once the bill has been heard in the Commons it will move to the House of Lords and is expected to gain Royal Assent late next year.
Further information on HS2 in Staffordshire can be found at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/HS2