RESIDENTS opposed to the construction of a high speed train line that is planned to cut through the borough have joined forces to create a Cheshire wide umbrella group.

Cheshire Against HS2 (CAHS2) was formed on Tuesday when nine action groups from across Cheshire and Staffordshire unified to create a stronger, more serious presence against the £46.2bn High Speed Two (HS2).

The proposed Birmingham to Manchester leg of HS2 will run through Pickmere, Tabley, Mere, Millington, Rostherne, Ashley, Whatcroft, Lostock Gralam, Lostock Green and Lach Dennis.

It will also cut through Winsford and Middlewich.

Localised action groups that now sit as part of the Cheshire-wide group are Mid Cheshire Against HS2, One Voice Against HS2 in Cheshire, HS2 Parish Council Action Group, Rixton with Glazebrook HS2 Action Group, Agden Broomedge Lymm East, Culcheth and District Rail Action Group, Warburton-Lymm District Action Group, Warrington Stop HS2 and Madeley HS2 Action Group.

Ewen Simpson, chair of CAHS2 and member of Mid Cheshire Against HS2, said: “The reason behind forming the Umbrella Group is that unity is strength.

“While we remain separate and merely local, our opponents can pick us off more easily.

“By coming together we can utilise the skills in one group that another group might lack for the benefit of all the action groups.

“Their local knowledge is also vital for the umbrella group.

“Working together allows us to pool resources.

“Our aims as a local action groups is replicated in the umbrella group – to concentrate all our efforts on defeating HS2.

“We do not believe that it will provide the economic benefits that its proponents claim so all of our efforts will be concentrated on persuading the politicians - for it is they who are the ultimate decision makers in relation HS2 – to abandon the project.”

Each individual action group will continue to keep their own identity as well as being part of the umbrella group, with each sending two members to the monthly umbrella group meetings.

Ewen added: “We are looking for ways to approach politicians and party workers outside of the ‘bubble of Westminster’.

“We are of course will not campaign on behalf of any political party, that way would defeat our effectiveness and we could be accused of political bias – we are a non political group."