Staffordshire County Council today pledged to continue to help communities ensure their voices are heard, after the House of Commons Select Committee delivered its verdict on petitioning to date on Phase 2a of the high speed rail project.
In its first special report, the HS2 Select committee outlined its decisions after listening to petitions on Phase 2a, which runs through 33 miles of Staffordshire from Fradley to Crewe.
An “in principle” decision to reject petitioners’ preferences to put the whole Whitmore to Madeley Heath section through a tunnel, but reserved the right to review following further representations from communities in the summer
Decision that moving a railhead and maintenance depot from Stone to Aldersley Rough would not be viable
Extending part of the Whitmore tunnel which will reduce the need for the diversion of the A53 and lessen the necessary local road works.
Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s Member for Economic Growth, said:
“While some of the decisions made by the select committee will be hugely disappointing to those local communities affected, as a county council we will continue to help them make sure their voices are heard.
“We appeared before the select committee ourselves and in total petitioned on more than 60 items to lessen the impact on our county and our communities.
“As part of this we have secured significant assurances from HS2 Limited, including the lowering of the King’s Bromley Viaduct, mitigating the impact of the Stone railhead and maintenance hub, multi-million pound highways improvements needed to deliver the scheme and encouraging the recruitment of local people to its workforce.
“This is one of the biggest infrastructure projects ever seen in this country and although the decisions on the scheme and the route are made by HS2 Limited and not the county council, we will continue to do everything in our power to support communities to influence the plans through our community support fund, mitigate the impact during construction and operation on the county and also make sure Staffordshire and its people share in any economic benefits.”
Full details of the HS2 Select Committee First Report can be found here.