Se­ri­ous fears over HS2 plans

Canal Boat - - News -

THE CANAL & RIVER Trust has ex­pressed ‘se­ri­ous con­cerns’ at the im­pact of Phase 2B of the HS2 high­speed rail­way on the canal sys­tem.

Re­spond­ing to a con­sul­ta­tion into pro­posed mod­i­fi­ca­tions to the sec­ond phase of HS2 (from the Mid­lands to the North-West and York­shire), the Trust high­lighted ‘key is­sues that could have a se­ri­ous and ad­verse ef­fect on parts of the canal net­work’ and made pro­pos­als aimed at mit­i­gat­ing th­ese ef­fects. They in­clude:

• A train de­pot near Crewe that in­volves a four-track 100m-wide ‘tun­nel-like’ cross­ing which CRT says would have a ‘se­vere ad­verse im­pact’ on the Shrop­shire Union Mid­dlewich Branch. CRT urges HS2 to move the de­pot, or to at least re­design the ap­proaches, re­duc­ing the cross­ing to two tracks.

• Three rail cross­ings (up to 12m high) in 3km of the Trent & Mersey near North­wich. CRT urges HS2 to re­vert to the orig­i­nal plan of one canal cross­ing.

• A cross­ing of the Ashby north­ern reaches (un­der restora­tion) south of Measham at a height which would pre­clude re­open­ing on the orig­i­nal route. This is ‘not ac­cept­able’ to CRT, which pro­poses di­vert­ing the canal if this route op­tion for HS2 is adopted.

• The orig­i­nal HS2 plans would severely im­pact the Ch­ester­field Canal (un­der restora­tion) in the Stave­ley area. CRT sup­ports the pro­posed route mod­i­fi­ca­tion to run along­side the M1 which would re­duce the im­pact. How­ever the line would still need to al­low for the canal where it crosses at Nor­wood and where a de­pot ac­cess track crosses at Stave­ley. CRT Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Richard Parry pointed out that the first phase of HS2 had been mod­i­fied to re­duce its im­pact on the canals at Fradley, and said that “we look for­ward to fur­ther di­a­logue on the pro­pos­als for Phase 2B”.

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