More concerns in Cheshire

This is a recent letter sent to Cheshire west Council by a local resident, pointing out there are still real unresolved problems in the area

I am writing to add my objections to  the case for HS2, both generally and in Mid Cheshire.
I am fully aware that there are grave concerns from numerous quarters, both political and non political, about the scheme. However I am not convinced that these voices are being adequately heard.
Specifically in Mid Cheshire there remains many unanswered questions as to the viability of the scheme. The latest changes, announced recently, still fail to address what could be quite catastrophic implications of constructing and operating a high speed line in close proximity to under ground gas storage and over geologically fragile land. If a serious incident where to ever occur during construction or operation then the line would essentially be severed north of Crewe with no possibility of reopening or rerouting it.
The construction of this line will devastate the economies of Mid Cheshire towns that are in its path. People operating local businesses, which the towns are dependent on, will find it impossible maintain profits in such a severely disrupted climate. Basically closing and realigning the 556 through Northwich will cut off a major artery into the town with no hope of anything beneficial coming to the town from the line itself. I wonder whether the council have enquired  about impact assessments on the Mid Cheshire area as a result of this project or whether they even exist. There seems to be processes in place to compensate individuals but in reality they should be compensating whole towns and villages.
The existence of such a enormously expensive line  could lead to a situation where the government would be determined to, and indeed would have to, recoup as much money as possible from the British travelling public. If this where to be the case it could lead to a situation that has not been widely discussed. What is there to prevent those of us who are close, but not conveniently close enough, to a hub station, from being compelled to use the line to get further north or south as the more traditional lines are abandoned in favour of HS2. I fear this could be a realistic outcome if HS2 were to go ahead.
These  are many of the  serious questions that CWAC should be raising with the exponents of HS2. People in Mid Cheshire have legitimate concerns and deserve to be listened to and not fobbed off, by what an increasing number of people, nationwide, believe to be a vanity project, that is financially out of control, and will devastate those in its path.

 

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3 comments on “More concerns in Cheshire
  1. Birmingham can evolve with more manufacturing rather than property first. The Conservatives need the West Midlands and Derbyshire to revive manufacturing. Perhaps refocussing investments for more manufacturing is better than betting the Farm or Vicarage on HS2 the scheme many councils, parishes and people do not support.

  2. Your correspondent’s concerns about being ‘compelled’ to use HS2 once it is up and running will hardly be eased with a reminder of what happened on HS1 when, as with HS2 & the West Coast Main Line, the franchise to run domestic HS1 services was given to the same company that also ran the other ‘classic’ local rail services. In your correspondent’s area again, it will be a joint franchise.

    This Telegraph article explains what happened:

    High speed rail? Britain’s first link hasn’t worked as planned say critics (02/04/11) @ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/road-and-rail-transport/8423638/High-speed-rail-Britains-first-link-hasnt-worked-as-planned-say-critics.html

    So the method that is likely to be used to ‘compel’ people to fill up HS2 trains if this is needed is likely to be more subtle, changes to the timetable that add stops and slow trains down on the ‘classic’ to make HS2 look more attractive and quicker.

    However, if the franchise had been split between two operating companies, we would have then been able to see what the real demand for HS2 would be. But alas, the Government, in its wisdom, is only offering a joint franchise, so we may never know.

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