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Stoke City Council says sorry to Stone over HS2 plans shock

By Kerry.Ashdown  |  Posted: January 31, 2014

By Kerry Ashdown

Stoke City Council says sorry to Stone over HS2 plans shock

Councillor Philip Jones

Comments (4)

STOKE CITY Council’s leader has said sorry to Stone Town Council for not telling them sooner about radical proposals to reroute high speed rail though the town.

City councillor Mohammed Pervez’s apology came on Thursday, a week after Stone Town Councillors branded alternative plans to route the HS2 line through Stone and Barlaston “frightening” and “quite absurd”.

The city council has proposed the alternative route to allow opportunity for a station at Stoke on Trent and it was backed by city councillors last night. The proposal also calls for the current West Coast Main Line from Barlaston to Stoke on Trent to be upgraded to accommodate high speed trains.

HS2 Ltd’s proposed route bypasses the city, Stone and Barlaston, instead passing through Marston and west of Walton, close to Swynnerton, on its way to Manchester.

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The consultation on the proposed route of HS2’s Phase 2 between Birmingham and Manchester and Leeds, which started last year, closes today.

Speaking on radio last night Councillor Pervez said: “We were keen to engage with everybody; (on January 29) we met with other leaders of neighbouring authorities to go through the details of our proposals to see what benefits it will bring to the whole area.

“I accept perhaps they could have been briefed a bit earlier. Everybody has been working very hard to make sure our proposal is completed in time.”

Councillor Pervez has now offered to bring his team to Stone to explain the proposal to town councillors in more detail and it is hoped this meeting can be arranged within the next few weeks.

Stone Town Council’s controlling group leader, Councillor Philip Jones, said: “I am grateful to Councillor Pervez, and we will gladly accept his offer of a meeting to explain further the City Council’s plans.

“However I am not yet persuaded that the design of the route itself will be left to Stoke City Council. When a number of alternative routes were first drawn up a line to Stoke went through the middle of Stone.”

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4 comments

  • padav  |  February 04 2014, 12:27AM

    Yes, @ConcernedGB, I support the concept of HS2 as an integral element of any long term strategy aimed at rejuvenating rail as the principal mass transport medium for UK plc. Now we've dispensed with the "money better spent on existing network myth", let's deal with your next argument, which appears to be; "let's do nothing because of environmental impact" So you're the government and you are charged with the task of developing long term transport strategy. You look at proven long term trends in travel demand and you discover that a) Private Car and Domestic Air travel either flatlined or diminished significantly in the last decade & b) Surface Rail journeys increased dramatically, (actually they doubled in number) - what do you do to plan for this kind of future - well if they're you, nothing apparently and when the country grinds to a halt, we'll all know who to blame. In fact what common sense tells you to do is invest a lot of money in the rail network and that's exactly what's happening but you can't build Rome in a day, particularly when it comes to railways. The £37bn I've referred to is just a part of that strategy - to significantly increase capacity you have to build new trackway and that's where HS2 comes into the picture. Now if you're so sensitive that you class someone pointing out your gross ignorance as abuse, fine, go and climb into a shell but in the real world, you have to deal with facts and make policy accordingly. Doing nothing isn't an option so which do you want - a High Speed Rail track or an array of private toll funded 6 or 8 lane motorways (that's what the IEA/Tax Payers Alliance would have us do) - the choice is yours - while you're thinking about it, take a peek at this video; about 1:30 in you can see both side by side - I know which one I'd go for? http://tinyurl.com/c2ed3tm

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  • ConcernedGB  |  February 03 2014, 11:38PM

    padav I asume you are pro HS2 as you are repeating the figures that all the HS2 enthusiasts are quoting. What I was trying to say is England (as that is only where it will cover unless there are some hidden plans) does not need this blot on the land scape no matter how cheap it will be It will ruin emense swathes of England and the majority of people who are effected by it will gain absolutly nothing.At that I have wish to have no further conversation with you as on this subject as abusive language reduces your comments credibility.

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  • padav  |  February 03 2014, 7:03PM

    @ConcernedGB - not going to comment on Stoke vs the rest of Staffs but much of your comment is founded on outright ignorance. You claim that funding for the existing network should be a priority. Presumably then, you'll be delighted to hear that that's exactly what is happening!!! In fact more money is ALREADY committed to the existing network - £37bn for the next five year Network Rail Control Period to be precise - that's an annual spend in excess of £7bn, compared with the £2bn planned for HS2 during its extended construction timeframe. In short, it really does pay if you do some basic research on a topice before posting ill-informed claptrap?

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  • ConcernedGB  |  February 02 2014, 6:17PM

    Although I am recent resident in Staffordshire it seeem to me that Stoke is trying to take all the services for the county for its self without regard for other communities. It is takinging major departments from Stafford hospital to increase its University Hospitals income and now wants the HS2 white elephant re-routed regardless of any communities it will have effect on just to improve it stature. I travel through Stoke quite regularly and donot see it as a center of commerce or finance that warrants the disruption a new line or station. In fact The HS2 is the biggest waste of money any government could spend and if the money was spent on improving and enlarging the current rail network the UK would have a rail system that would be the envy it was before Dr Beechings ill thought decimation.

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