STAFFORDSHIRE’S transport leader has vowed he will win the best deal for local people as the second phase of HS2 was confirmed today.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin, announced today, the multi-billion pound plans for a high speed rail link between London and Birmingham were set to extend to Manchester with the route passing through Staffordshire and a link connecting with services from Crewe.
Mike Maryon, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said the council would now be scrutinising the impact of the proposed route on the county and working to mitigate the impact on communities.
“Today’s announcement for the route means less of Staffordshire will be cut through, but the impact of the new route on communities and the environment will still be significant and we now need to look at this in more detail,” said councillor Maryon. “We have worked closely with communities likely to be affected in Phase One of HS2 and will be bringing this experience, knowledge and commitment to get the very best outcome for those likely to be affected by this next phase.”
Councillor Maryon said, while not supporting the proposals, the county council recognised the importance of working closely with HS2 to minimise its impact on affected communities.
“We need to ensure any benefits from HS2 are transferred across the county to ’compensate’ for the impact of the line without any clear and confirmed benefits to Staffordshire residents and our environment.”
If approved, the route will cut through Staffordshire near Lichfield before heading North of Stafford, South of Stone and Newcastle before finally reaching Crewe.
The final route is set to be selected by the end of 2014.