Perhaps for local people in Newton Le Willows or Burtonwood this is not a direct concern, but for those in Lowton, Golborne and Culcheth it is likely to be life changing in a few years time.
Homes will be destroyed, farms, which have been in families for generations, will be flattened and for anyone residing outside the 60 metre zone of the line, they may well see their property blighted. On the other hand it will bring economic and connectivity benefits to our region.
The positive and negatives are a subject of great national debate!
You will see on this cluster of features of the website the case for and the case against HS2. Here we have an introduction to what HS2 is.
What is HS2?
High Speed 2 (HS2) is the most significant transport infrastructure project the UK has seen since the motorways were built in the 1950’s and 1960’s. It will provide a high speed rail line between London and Birmingham and on to Manchester and Leeds. Trains will be capable of speeds up to 250mph, much faster than any other wheel based rail service anywhere in the world.
Construction along the line is due to commence in 2017 and be completed by 2025. The first train services will run between London and Birmingham from 2026. The Government estimate the cost to be around £33 billion to build which excludes the cost of trains. HS2 is divided into two phases:-
More than half the HS2 phase one route, from London to Birmingham, will be in tunnels or deep cuttings but such a major infrastructure project will always affect some areas. The government has said that it will provide compensation to eligible property owners affected by HS2 and has issued safeguarding directions for much of phase one. The Department of Transport has stated that affected applicants will receive the open market value of their property, plus ten percent (up to forty seven thousand pounds) and moving costs. Until the safeguarding of Phase One came into place, the only mechanism for owners to sell their properties was under the “Exceptional Hardship” scheme. These procedures now apply to a corridor one hundred and twenty metres wide. Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, announced on the 9th of July 2013 that the proposed HS2 that will run between London and the West Midlands is now protected from any future developments which might conflict with it.
The Department for Transport have also added that they would like to introduce a new compensation scheme that would be more generous than what the current law entitles.
Phase two of HS2 will extend the route to Manchester and Leeds. The initial preferences for the route, stations and depots for phase two have been published.
In July 2013, HS2 Ltd announced its framework agreement for professional services relating to land and property. Nineteen companies have been selected for one or more contracts.
An exceptional hardship scheme (EHS) for HS2 phase two has been launched. The HS2 phase two EHS is a voluntary purchase scheme designed to assist property owners whose properties are on or in close proximity to the proposed phase two route and who urgently need to sell their properties before long term measures are put in place.
Our Local Voice says
The hybrid bill is being developed in 2014 and will be presented for royal assent in 2015 which of course is the year of the general election. Expect things to hot up next year.
One thing we can tell you for sure- it will have a massive environmental impact on our area and is a significant issue particularly for those communities in the Lowton and Culcheth areas. It also is a factor in both Parkside (inward rail paths) and in the Atlantic Gateway (outward rail paths), Ditton and Salford.
Look at the “for” and “against” articles and see what you think.
Some interesting links
For the governments HS2 website
For 51M (Alternative to HS2)