MANY people feel that HS2 will not concern or bother them because they will not be able to see it, and construction won’t begin for at least 10 to 15 years from now, so why worry.
But what if it does go ahead?
I seriously wonder if all the villagers of Stanthorne, Bostock, Whatcroft, Lostock Green, Lach Dennis, Lostock Gralam, Wincham and Pickmere realise the dramatic changes to their way of life that HS2 will impose upon them.
By the way, neither will Northwich, with its ambitious redevelopment plans, escape the problems that the construction phase will cause.
There will be at least six to seven years of blocked roads and heavy plant moving around our villages.
Think about the effect on traffic using Manchester Road, Pickmere Lane, Linnards Lane, Flittogate Lane, Plumley Moor Road, Penny's Lane, Birches Lane, Davenham Road, Crowders Lane, Holmes Chapel Road, Whatcroft Hall Lane, not forgetting the A556, the A559 and King Street.
I’m sure I’ve missed some roads that will also feel the effects.
There is the strong possibility of large encampment being required to house site workers. Machinery and materials will have to stored off site. The construction corridor will be 200 metres wide and spoil from the construction will have to be dumped somewhere.
Even if construction does not start for 10 or so years, it has already begun to affect you.
It is inordinately expensive and environmentally damaging.
Think of the current effect of subsidence caused by brine and salt extraction.
It is one of the most expensive projects supported by Government in the past 40 years.
It has the weakest justification, business case and rationale.
It relies on the notion that time savings for high income passengers translates into huge economic gains, largely based on the notion that time spent on trains is non-productive – haven’t they heard of WiFi on trains?
The forecasts for future demand levels take no account of the rapid growth in video conferencing and ignores the future rapid development of electronic communication.
Who had a smart phone 15 years ago?
Finally, there will be no access to HS2 unless you travel to Manchester or Birmingham.
I would love to hear from those who favour HS2 as to how this will benefit those of us who live and work in Cheshire?
Ewen Simpson Whatcroft Northwich