Council's position regarding HS2 announcements
Cheshire West and Chester Council welcomes the announcements made by the Secretary of State for Transport about the high speed rail network HS2.
However, we will seek a strong commitment from Government to put in place full and effective measures to address any potential negative impacts on local communities, businesses and land users.
We will also be working hard with neighbouring areas in Cheshire East, Warrington, North Wales and Staffordshire to ensure that the full economic needs and opportunities of the wider region are met by the new scheme. Developing Chester, Warrington and Crewe as key rail hubs will be the ultimate means of maximising the benefits of HS2.
To this end we are active partners in The Northern Gateway Development Zone (NGDZ) and are pleased that there will be further funding to expand on this critical work. In particular we are working on our Winsford and Northwich transport strategies to make sure that we secure the right connections to the Crewe Hub to support much-needed new homes and jobs.
The decision to locate the Rolling Stock Depot close to Winsford is significant for the employment and skills opportunities it would provide in this area. Good access is vital to its success.
Through the Growthtrack 360 campaign, we are also working hard with businesses, public institutions, and national and local politicians across North Wales, Merseyside and Cheshire and Warrington to promote full and frequent connections to HS2 for more than one million people to the west of the new Crewe Hub.
Critically, we continue to engage with the rail industry to secure improvements to our existing rail services, including gaining commitments for more services between Chester/Northwich and Manchester. We are hopeful that the forthcoming rail franchise serving Winsford, Hartford and Acton Bridge will include service improvements at all these stations.
Improvements to the rail links between North Wales, Chester, Warrington, Manchester, Manchester International Airport, the Potteries, West Midlands and beyond offer huge opportunities to reduce journey times and increase the frequency of services for all our communities which make a huge contribution to the Northern Powerhouse.
We would strongly encourage all residents, businesses and other stakeholders in the affected areas to take part in the consultation that HS2 Ltd is undertaking through to 9 March 2017. These communities have endured a long period of uncertainty affecting quality of life and property value, as well as stalling business planning, and it is vital that they have a voice in determining the full extent of mitigation measures.
Full details of the announcements can be found on the Gov.uk website: