GEOLOGIST Ros Todhunter says the proposed HS2 rail link “is on shaky ground” as it passes through the area.

Ros, who lives in Lostock Green, is a member of Mid Cheshire Against HS2.

She is concerned as a geologist over the suitability and safety of siting a rail line, which she said tolerated ground movements of less than five millimetres, through an area of known salt extraction and subsidence.

Ros said: “For centuries the ground surface has been on the move, and still is, due to natural and industry-generated salt solution.”

Ben Ruse, HS2 Ltd lead spokesperson said: “Improving rail connections across the north will help to deliver significant benefits for the region.

“There are of course engineering challenges in delivering the largest infrastructure project in Europe, but we will have the best people to help us achieve our aim of building a railway network that is fit for the 21st century.

“We very much value local knowledge, and our engineers have met with Ros Todhunter to talk through the geology in the area.

“We will continue with that process as we develop the detailed design of the route.”

Ros added: “In Wimboldsley, an area of former wild brine pumping between Winsford and Middlewich, the proposed HS2 route has been drawn down the centre of one of many linear hollows of up to two metres deep which are still subsiding.”

She added that the proposed route had been drawn straight through an area vital to the nation’s economy.

“Coming out of the tunnel under Crewe the planned route is directly above the active salt mine, which is at shallow depths between Winsford and Middlewich,” she said.

“The route narrowly skirts the existing Storngy Natural Gas Storage and the proposed Keuper Gas Storage Project between Whatcroft and Byley, and then goes straight across the area of King Street Energy’s proposed development of strategic natural gas storage, east of King Street, between Morrisons and Penny’s Lane, Lach Dennis.

“The route then heads over the working Holford Brine field, where salt is dissolved and pumped out of brine wells that occur every 500 metres between Lach Dennis and Lostock Green and up to the A556 at the Lostock Triangle.

“In the same area the proposed route crosses an intricate network of interconnecting pipework of pressurised brine, fresh water and air which transport the brine as feedstock for the chemical industries of Northwich, Winnington, Runcorn, Widnes and beyond.”