Tuesday, 14 January 2014

HS2 in Cheshire and beyond - do you have a view?

I was contacted earlier today by a lobbying group seeking to oppose HS2 in Cheshire.  I was asked whether I would agree to meet the lobbyists - you'll not be surprised to learn that I have already indicated that I am more than happy to meet them to learn more about their position.

Now the planned HS2 route isn't coming close to Frodsham.  The route, after reaching Crewe runs up mid and eastern Cheshire in the main before taking the line further east to Manchester.  I know Liverpool is lobbying to be connected to the HS2 route - if they were successful that could prove interesting for us, depending on how the HS line crossed the Mersey.

There are plans already announced, which I fully support, to consider electrification of the Crewe - Chester line, and more importantly for us here the Chester - Manchester line.  I am also lobbying to have the Halton Curve reopened - and ideally electrified to give us better services to Liverpool.

Now the lobbyists have also asked whether I know the views of my electorate.  I have to say HS2 is not an issue that fills my inbox (possibly tempting fate) - so if you do have views on the issue please let me know.

I do appreciate that those living on or along the HS2 route could well be suffering blight now.  There will inevitably be issues of CPO compensation and disturbance to consider and questions about how and whether businesses can relocate.  Are these issues that can be solved depending on the size of the compensation cheque?  Large infrastructure plans inevitably bring these issues.  So as a nation and a community in Cheshire how do we balance all these competing interests?  Do please let me know your views.