HS2 ‘will help to heal the town’s scars’, say res­i­dents

Derby Telegraph - - NEWS - By CHRIS HARPER christo­[email protected]­plc.com @chrisharperDT

The HS2 con­sul­ta­tion event at West Park Leisure Cen­tre in Long Ea­ton yes­ter­day. MA­JOR rail­way project HS2 will help heal a town’s “scars” and will be a “great op­por­tu­nity” ac­cord­ing to res­i­dents.

Hun­dreds of peo­ple at­tended the High Speed 2 rail con­sul­ta­tion event at West Park Leisure Cen­tre, on Wil­sthorpe Road, Long Ea­ton to­day.

Res­i­dents came to ex­press their views and un­der­stand how the mas­sive £56 bil­lion project will af­fect them, ask ques­tions and sub­mit for­mal feedback.

Opin­ions on the project were split, as lo­cals found pos­i­tives in it and thought it would help the town in the long run.

Giles Har­vey, 86, who lives in Breas­ton, said HS2 would be a “mas­sive prob­lem” for every­one, but the ben­e­fits would even­tu­ally out­weigh the neg­a­tives.

He said: “Look­ing at what’s been planned, it ap­pears they have got their cost pretty much all to­talled. I do think there will be a huge amount of traf­fic as con­struc­tion takes place, there’s no deny­ing that, but it will be worth it.

“Long Ea­ton was a great in­dus­trial town and you can see many of the scars left be­hind from those in­dus­tries that came and HS2 will help those heal”.

David Allen, 65, from Al­vas­ton, said that he be­lieved the project was a bril­liant idea. He said: “Cars need to die. There are so many cars on the road these days and hope­fully HS2 will get some of those cars off of the roads and use rail in­stead. I think they are do­ing a spec­tac­u­lar job here and it will be a great thing to look at in the fu­ture.

“We have got to look to the fu­ture with these things. Times do change and this will be the fu­ture for us. I’m sure it will let some peo­ple travel fur­ther for jobs and life in gen­eral. It’s great”.

But the hall did see a num­ber of res­i­dents who be­lieved HS2 would neg­a­tively im­pact not just Long Ea­ton but many towns and cities in the UK. Gra­ham Hallsworth, who has lived in Long Ea­ton for 40 years, says he spoke to a num­ber of rep­re­sen­ta­tives at the event, but still thought it was a “bad idea”.

The 62-year-old said: “It’s go­ing to put Long Ea­ton at a stand­still. That al­ready hap­pens when there is the small­est road­works now. We’re just go­ing to have years of traf­fic prob­lems in town.” Gareth Lewis, who lives in To­ton, said the project would bring eight years of mis­ery. “They have ob­vi­ously ad­dressed many is­sues but are miss­ing things such as how are peo­ple in Long Ea­ton go­ing to ac­cess the hub? In Oc­to­ber, it emerged Long Ea­ton and sur­round­ing ar­eas will lose a to­tal of 183 houses, 52 com­mer­cial prop­er­ties and 18 other build­ings.

This comes on top of ad­verse ef­fects to health and the de­struc­tion of 91 per cent of wildlife on To­ton Sid­ings. Bon­sall Street, in Long Ea­ton will face the de­mo­li­tion of 73 res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties to make way for a 19-me­tre viaduct that would carry the high-speed trains.

There are so many cars on the road and hope­fully HS2 will get some of those cars off of the roads

David Allen

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