HS2 ‘to be pos­i­tive’ for canals

Canal Boat - - News -

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.

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