HS2 in west Cheshire

    HS2 high-speed railway

    HS2 is a planned new high-speed rail link in the United Kingdom, the first phase is between London and the West Midlands, a second phase between the West Midlands and Crewe and a third phase from Crewe to Manchester (phase 2b). The third phase will pass through west Cheshire.

    HS2 plans to increase rail capacity, freeing up space on existing lines for more commuter, regional and freight services. This will relieve overcrowding and improve reliability for millions of people using Britain's railways.

    The Council supports the general principle of HS2 but will make sure the concerns of residents and businesses are heard at the highest level. The Council still needs reassurance that measures will be put in place to help with the vast negative impacts on communities, businesses, local services as well as on the natural and built environment.

    HS2 in Cheshire

    The route will pass through various parts of Cheshire East, with a large Station at Crewe and Rolling Stock Depot where trains will be based and maintained, located north of Crewe in Cheshire West and Chester.

    This Phase aims to free up capacity on the congested West Coast Main Line as long-distance trains are moved on to dedicated HS2 track. HS2 will also improve reliability and cut journey times. Birmingham will be about 40 minutes from Manchester, more than halving the journey time. London will be 1 hour 11 minutes from Manchester, saving 54 minutes.

    HS2 route

    The proposed route through the eastern area of the borough is Wimboldsley to Lostock Gralam.

    Traveling north from Walley's Green on embankment, passing Middlewich to the east, before crossing the Middlewich branch of the Shropshire Union Canal on viaduct.

    It continues on embankment, passing Winsford to the west and crossing the River Dane on viaduct.

    The route will continue north towards Lostock Gralam, alternating between embankment and viaduct to cross over Puddlinglake Brook, the Trent and Mersey Canal, Gad Brook, Wade Brook, Peover Eye and Smoker Brook before continuing into the Pickmere to Agden and Hulseheath area.

    Crewe North rolling stock depot

    The proposed scheme includes the Crewe North rolling stock depot, to be built on land between the route of the proposed scheme and the West Coast Main Line, north-east of Walley's Green.

    This operational and maintenance hub will feature 27 sidings of 400 metre length to accommodate up to 54 high speed trains. When operational, the works undertaken at this depot will be more extensive than elsewhere on the Western Leg, ranging from light cleaning to heavy duty maintenance. This depot is where most train drivers would be based and would start and end their shifts.

    Areas affected

    Local schools

    Impacts on schools in the borough, are detailed in the Council's responses to consultations:

    Care homes

    The construction will cause an impact on visitors to Care Homes who may visit less frequently as a result, impacting on the health and wellbeing of residents who are older and/or disabled.

    Main roads

    Cheshire West and Chester Council along with Cheshire East Council are jointly concerned about the impact on roads at the following key locations:

    • A530 Nantwich Road / Chapel Lane
    • A556 Chester Road / A530 King Street
    • A54 Middlewich Road / Road One / Clive Lane
    • A556 Shurlach Road / Birches Lane
    • A54 Holmes Chapel Road / A533 Leadsmithy Street, Middlewich

    It is vital that the Council conducts continuing detailed scrutiny of HS2 to ensure that the impact on Cheshire is as minimal as possible.The Council will consider opposing the scheme in its present form, working with the Government consultants to reduce the impact on west Cheshire of any high-speed railway to ensure it does not unnecessarily harm the Cheshire countryside or create blight on our residents, businesses and recreational facilities.

    Petitioning

    Following a recommendation by Cabinet on 20 April 2022, the meeting of Full Council on 19 May 2022 resolved for Cheshire West and Chester Council to petition to Parliament against the HS2 Phase 2b: High Speed Rail (Crewe - Manchester) Bill 2022 in relation to those aspects that could negatively impact the borough.

    The process of petitioning the HS2 select committee is the chance to secure mitigation and further amendments to the scheme.

    The Council submitted their petition on 4 August 2022. The concerns raised by the Council relate to highways and active travel, public transport and public rights of way, Climate Change, equality and diversity, landscape and visual, ecology and biodiversity, schools, ground conditions, Crewe North Rolling Stock Depot, the need for engagement officers, waste and minerals.

    The full petition can be viewed at: https://committees.parliament.uk/hybridbillpetition/119/default/

    A second petition from Cheshire West and Chester Council against the proposed changes (Additional Provision) to the HS2 Phase 2b: High Speed Rail (Crewe – Manchester) Bill 2022 was submitted on 9 August.

    The full petition can be viewed at:

    https://committees.parliament.uk/work/6816/petitioning-against-the-first-additional-provision/publications/bill-petitions/

    Your questions answered

    Find your questions on HS2 answered.

    Your questions answered

    Additional provision

    The Government has deposited in Parliament, a proposed set of amendments to the High Speed Rail (Crewe - Manchester) Bill 2022. This is known as an Additional Provision with a description of the amendments between Wimboldsley and Lostock Gralam.

    HS2 - additional provision

    Engagement events

    Engagement events for those who will be most significantly and disproportionately affected by the proposed HS2 line took place in June.

    • A virtual Town and Parish Engagement Event was held on Microsoft Teams 9.30am to 10.30am Wednesday 15 June 2022.
    • A face-to-face engagement event 4pm to 6pm Wharton Library Winsford Tuesday 21 June 2022.
    • A face-to-face engagement event 4pm to 6pm Wednesday 22 June 2022 at Northwich Memorial Court. 
    • HS2 – Impacts on Cheshire West and Chester (PDF, 2.4MB)

    Residents can submit their ideas for petitioning by the end of Friday 22 July 2022 by email to: NorthwichWinsfordLocality@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

    Enquiries

    If you have a question about the construction of HS2, you should contact HS2 direct either by email or via their HS2 helpdesk team on:

    Further information