Staffordshire County Council will hold the HS2 project to its commitments after high-speed rail line took a huge step forward.
With Royal Assent granted to legislation permitting the line to be extended through Staffordshire from the West Midlands to Crewe, the county council has pledged it will do all it can for its communities in the years to come.
David Williams, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said:
Today’s landmark in Parliament brings HS2 a step closer to reality and this authority is determined to help its residents every step of the way as preparation and construction takes place.
The county council has already successfully petitioned for some amendments to proposals to reduce the impact on road users during the construction phase.
Now that Royal Assent has been granted, we will be responsible for approving highway work and lorry routes, plus movement of waste and spoil from the sites and subsequent monitoring to ensure that rules and conditions are being observed.”
Following extensive lobbying, ‘the Handsacre link’ was confirmed as part of the first phase of the project connecting Stafford to the HS2 network and potentially opening up further investment and development in the county town.
And a commitment by HS2 has also been made to use local suppliers, materials and labour wherever possible.
David Williams added:
HS2 should be updating parish councils and residents regularly on what’s happening and there will be information soon about support for communities affected by the project above and beyond mitigation already discussed.
At the same time we will also continue our work to make sure that we share in the economic benefits that this enormous development will bring.”
Cheshire east council have welcomed the milestone as they pushes forward with multiple projects to transform Crewe and the wider area and ensure it is ready for HS2’s arrival, including its proposals for Crewe Hub Station.
Councillor Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “This is a hugely important milestone and brings with it the powers and government commitment to bring high speed rail to Crewe and move to the construction phase.
“HS2 is a strategically important project and will drive increased business confidence to invest in Crewe.
“This will create opportunities to not only enhance the town of Crewe, but also the wider borough through the jobs, services and improved opportunities it can provide.”
During lobbying for Phase 1 of the line, the county council successfully argued for the lowering of eight kilometres of line in Lichfield.