RESIDENTS in Colwich and the Haywoods are bracing themselves for an announcement of the location of the HS2 rail line.
Details of the route north of Birmingham, which will fork into routes to Manchester and Leeds, are expected to be announced this month.
If approved, the left hand spur would cut through Staffordshire with the widely-tipped options of a station close to the M6 either in Staffordshire or Cheshire.
Villagers say the line is likely to be sited near their communi- ties and they want to ensure they get adequate screening.
Stafffordshire County Council’s transport chief Mike Maryon has pledged to fight for the best deal for residents when the route is announced.
Colwich resident Rolfe Pearce said villagers would be mobil- ising to ask for bunding between the line and properties.
“We have seen helicopters coming over mapping the route so we are pretty confident it’s going to be close to us,” he said.
“We are going to be sandwiched right in between the West Coast Mainline and HS2.
"We must get a good deal. We proba- bly can’t stop it but we can probably petition to get an earth bank put between us and the actual line.
“We should be asking the council and HS2 to buy up the land between the villages and the line and turn it into a park area or maybe a small industrial area.”
Councillor Maryon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We know that an announcement is imminent and whether this involves a station in the geographic county of Staffordshire or Cheshire, our resolve to help communities has not waned.
“We have worked closely with communities likely to be blighted in phase one of HS2 and will be bringing this experi- ence, knowledge and commitment to get the very best out- come for those likely to be affected by this next phase.”
While not supporting the proposals, Councillor Maryon said the county council recognised the importance of working closely with HS2 Limited.
He added: “We need to ensure that any benefits from HS2 are transferred across the county to compensate for the impact of the line without any direct benefits to Staffordshire residents.”