ANGRY civic leaders in Stone said plans plans that would see a high speed rail line cut a swathe through the market town were ‘frightening’ and ‘quite absurd’.
Councillor Philip Jones, who brought the urgent item in front of a meeting of Stone Town Council, said: “What happened today was that Stoke on Trent City Council has proposed that HS2 stops in Stoke on Trent which would mean a line running straight through the middle of Stone, either through the middle of Crown Meadows or Aston Lodge.”
“I can’t see bankers living in Burslem or lawyers from Longton catching the train to London.
“The whole idea is quite absurd.”
Councillor Jones said he thought the plans were ‘wishful thinking’ on behalf of Stoke City Council.
Councillor Geoff Collier said after listening to leader of Stoke council, Mohammed Pervez discussing the plans on the radio, he had come to the conclusion they would benefit nowhere but Stoke on Trent.
“This would absolutely destroy Stone,” he said. “And I am totally against it.”
Councillor Jill Hood said: “I think this is the most ridiculous proposal I have heard in years.
She said the recently published report into Stafford Borough’s local plan had described Stone as a ‘sleepy little town’.
“And we don’t want waking up. We don’t want HS2. Tell Stoke on Trent to stick it where the train doesn’t go.”
Councillor Mike Williamson said the thought of trains rushing through Stone at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour was ‘frightening’.
“It’s a very good idea for Stoke, but not for Stone at all,” he said. “There’s a further thing that really worries me.
“The railways have just said they are going to do major refurbishments at Stafford and Norton Bridge. This would immediately throw all that work into disarray.
“The proposals Stoke on Trent are making are totally against the needs of this town.”
The council voted unanimously to write to the Department of Transport and register their objections to the plans.