Coun­cil cam­paign against pro­posed HS2 rail link

Macclesfield Express - - MOTORING -

A COUN­CIL is cam­paign­ing against the pro­posed HS2 high speed rail link be­tween Crewe and London.

Mot­tram St An­drew Parish Coun­cil says the London to Manch­ester high speed rail line will have an ad­verse af­fect on peo­ple in the area who cur­rently travel to the cap­i­tal from sta­tions around Mac­cles­field and Wilm­slow.

It says that rather than re­duce jour­ney times, com­muters will be forced to travel fur­ther to HS2 sta­tions, thus negat­ing the quicker jour­ney time the train will de­liver.

Bill Pilk­ing­ton is the chair­man of the coun­cil and has 50 years ex­pe­ri­ence de­sign­ing rail­ways in the UK as an en­gi­neer for Bri­tish Rail.

Bill said: “Un­der the cur­rent pro­pos­als all Manch­ester to London ex­press ser­vices will be di­verted onto the new HS2 route to free up ex­tra ca­pac­ity on the ex­ist­ing West Coast Main Line for ad­di­tional freight and com­muter ser­vices.

“This will make it very dif­fi­cult to op­er­ate ex­press ser­vices on the ex­ist­ing line, which means peo­ple want­ing to travel on an ex­press ser­vice to London will be re­quired to go to ei­ther the air­port or the new sta­tion at Crewe to board a HS2 ser­vice.

“Whilst the train jour­ney time will be quicker this will be negated by the ad­di­tional time re­quired to drive to a HS2 sta­tion.

“We also be­lieve this will mean that fu­ture de­vel­op­ment and busi­nesses will lo­cate or re­lo­cate ad­ja­cent to a HS2 sta­tion. Towns that do not have a HS2 sta­tion will suf­fer.”

Bill has met with the Trans­port Min­is­ter, Baroness Kramer, to talk about the cam­paign.

He added: “We made this point in our re­sponse to Cheshire East’s Lo­cal Plan con­sul­ta­tion and at­tended the In­spec­tor’s Con­sul­ta­tion to re­in­force it.

“We have also raised our con­cerns at var­i­ous HS2 meet­ings and took the is­sue up with MP David Rutley.”

“We be­lieve that it is pos­si­ble to pro­vide both Mac­cles­field and Wilm­slow with a HS2 com­pat­i­ble ser­vice – from Wilm­slow by op­er­at­ing over the ex­ist­ing line to Crewe, and from Mac­cles­field by con­struct­ing a new rail link. Two op­tions have been sug­gested but un­for­tu­nately nei­ther are be­ing ex­am­ined by the HS2 de­vel­op­ment team at the mo­ment as far as we know.”

The mat­ter is due to be dis­cussed at the parish coun­cil’s next meet­ing, which will take place on Mon­day, Jan­uary 19 at the vil­lage hall’s clu­b­room at 6.30pm.

●● Prest­bury Parish Coun­cil mem­bers Ron Tay­lor, clerk, Bill Pilk­ing­ton, chair­man and Don Hatch, vice-chair­man.

●● Alex Romei hands the cheque to the hospice’s fundrais­ing of­fi­cer He­lena Gowler

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