THE Canal & River Trust has submitted its formal petition against the High Speed 2 Phase 2a Hybrid Bill which proposes a high-speed rail link from West Midlands to Crewe.
Submitted to the House of Commons Private Bills Office, the Trust’s petition identifies a number of areas where the Trust would like changes made to the Bill to mitigate the effects of HS2 on the Trent & Mersey Canal – both during the construction phase but also the rail line itself.
Peter Walker, national infrastructure services manager at the Canal & River Trust, comments: “Phase 2a has three particular locations along the Trent & Mersey Canal that we’re concerned about and want to work with HS2 to make changes.
“We’re not against HS2, but it’s really important that the impact on the canal network is minimised. We want the best deal for the waterways and think HS2 could work harder to mitigate the impact than their plans currently propose.”
By submitting its petition the Trust is requesting that the proposed Bill is changed to reflect its concerns ahead of the act of parliament being passed that will give the power to build the railway.
The main areas of concerns:
Great Haywood will see a viaduct going across the Trent Valley. The Trust is concerned about the visual appearance in this historic landscape and is requesting a bespoke design for the viaduct to minimise its impact (as achieved in Phase 1 in the Colne Valley).
The Trust is also concerned about the construction phase which could affect the canal at Great Haywood for many years whilst the rail line is built. The Trust wants to make sure the operation of the canal is protected from potentially long canal closures which are feasible/possible under the current proposals and there should be far fewer temporary bridge crossings than proposed.
At Fradley Junction a significant water main is set to be routed along the towpath during construction. This should be routed across a farmer’s field lessening the impact on the canal. A construction access road could also be routed to avoid coming very close to the canal, and the visual intrusion of a construction compound should be mitigated.
At Kings Bromley, the Trust would like to see power cables routed under the canal rather than over the top to mitigate the visual impact.
To see the Trust’s petition visit: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/the-hs2-rail-network-and-our-waterways/publications-and-consultation-responses