WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?
We have to assume that HS2a is going to happen, and start very soon now - groundworks are due to start in 2020 and be completed 2027?
1) OUR NUMBER ONE TARGET: We have put forward a proposal that HS2a be brought through Whitmore and Madeley Parishes via a LONG DEEP TUNNEL which would go underground somewhere in the Stableford area and resurface the other side of Madeley. This would eliminate almost all of the devastating infrastructure issues raised above. HS2 has confirmed that it is possible to build such a solution and it offers a number of attractions to them but it would of course be very expensive (the net cost has yet to be formaaly evaluated but a rough estimate of £100m has been mentioned). Sir Bill Cash has supported us strongly on this and has argued the case for it in Parliament resulting in the Secretary of State directing HS2 to carry out a full appraisal. HS2 confirms that it is actively working on this and expect to have completed the study by the end of this year. HS2 also states that the LDT solution is very attractive to them as it offers a massive simplification of their task for this section of the line. But clearly we have to make our case to justify the on-cost, once this has been formally quantified, and then take our proposal before the Select Committee tohave it adopted.
2) OUR FALL BACK POSITION WILL BE:-
- at least lower the tunnel sufficiently to avoid having to raise the A53.
- reduce the traffic impact created by HS2a by:-
- improving the A51/53 junction (ref 14.4.20)
- installing a permanent average speed monitoring system, with
number plate recognition, through Baldwins Gate village on the
A53 (ref 14.4.22)
Discussions are already underway between the Action Groups of the Parishes affected (Whitmore, Madeley, Keele, Loggerheads, Woore ) to work together on this. Whitmore activity is being led by Fred Smith, the Whitmore Heath Action Group Chairman, who urgently needs volunteers to join him in the following roles (apply by email to firstname.lastname@example.org ):-
- Tunnel engineering expertise.
- website and database construction and administration.
- Systems engineering.
- Environmental health expertise.
- Administration secretary.
- Fund raising
WHAT DO WE NEED YOU TO DO?
We need you to get involved and make your voices heard ( guidance is expected to follow in due course) by actively responding to the current consultation, (use the links above OR go to www.gov.uk/hs2 open the list of consultations and select "HS2 phase 2a (West Midlands - Crewe hybrid bill environmental statement)" ) pressing as hard as possible for ideas (1) and (2). The Action Group of course also needs any other practical proposals for ways of reducing the pain and, finally, we need volunteers to join Fred to form an active "HS2 Action Group" to take these ideas through to fruition.
OUR ARGUMENT IS SIMPLY THAT WHAT IS PROPOSED AT PRESENT WILL RESULT IN A MASSIVE PERMANENT DAMAGE TO THE ENVIRONMENT IN WHITMORE AND MADELEY PARISHES. OUR PROPOSAL FOR A "LDT" WILL AVOID THIS ALMOST ENTIRELY, AND THE ON COST (£100M?) IS A SMALL PRICE TO PAYTO AVOID THIS DEVASTATION OF OUR PARISHES FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE GENERATIONS TO COME. HOWEVER, THIS IS UNFORTUNATELY "A NUMBERS GAME" SO WE NEED AS MANY INDIVIDUALS AS POSSIBLE TO REGISTER A WRITTEN OPINION ON IT , PRESSING THE FACT THAT "WE NEED" THE "LDT". IFTHE COLLECTIVE VOICE IS NOT HEARD LOUDLY AND CLEARLY ENOUGH WE WILL NOT GET THE "LDT" AND WILL BE LEFT TO "GRIN AND BEAR" THE HAVOC HEADING OUR WAY.
Chairman Whitmore Parish Council