HS2 ‘to be positive’ for canals
CONCERTED ACTION BY the Inland Waterways Association and Canal & River Trust to get the HS2 railway plans modified by Parliament to soften the impact on canals has borne fruit, with a list of changes adopted to the London-Midlands first phase, plus a general principle that the line should have a positive effect on canals.
Although it has remained neutral on whether the line should be built at all, the joint steering group has brought in considerable external resources (for example engineering design, lobbying expertise and a QC) to “getting the best deal for our waterways” in the words of CRT’s Peter Walker. As a result, the Select Committee report includes a number of changes related to canals:
A more sympathetic bridge at Curdworth Recognition of residential boaters on Slough Arm Consideration of moving a diverted road away from Other popular photos included Caen Hill Locks by Damien Davis, and Grand Union Canal submitted by Myra Stokes. These and 11 other favourite photos, chosen by readers of IWA’s regular newsletter and social media, will feature in IWA’s 2017 calendar, which will be on sale from August, and on the Association’s Christmas cards.
The competition attracted over 450 entries, with images portraying a range of seasons, craft and activities from across the inland waterways. th canal (in addition to already-agreed reduction in rail crossings) near Fradley Junction. Replacement for Lichfield Cruising Club facilities (in addition to already-agreed construction of a diversion for the Lichfield Canal restoration). Investigation / mitigation of the impact on the Grand Union water supply via the Wendover Arm. Improved viaduct design across the Colne Valley, west of London.
In addition, the report establishes the principle that “There should be a positive architectural legacy from the railway’s interaction with the canal network in this country”. This sets a useful precedent for Phase 2, to the North West and Yorkshire. Here the route is still to be finalised, and could have a major impact on canal restoration schemes. See our restoration feature on page 61 for an in-depth look at its effects on the Chesterfield.