The High Speed Rail (West Midlands – Crewe) Hybrid Bill was given its second reading on 30th January, triggering a petitioning period. IWA’s submission highlights the main outstanding issue affecting waterways users, which is the impact of noise where the railway will cross or run close to waterways.
Following IWA’s successful petition in 2014 which led to the route at Fradley being altered, some other issues raised in IWA petitions have also been resolved. Two outstanding matters remain – the realignment of Wood End Lane where there may yet be a resolution, and the inadequacy of the noise mitigation measures proposed so far.
IWA fears that excessive noise from HS2 could render whole sections of canal as ‘no-go’ areas for mooring and have a negative impact on the many users of the canal towpath. HS2 continues to regard all canal users as transient and seemingly not worthy of consideration for noise mitigation, except for a limited number of permanent residential moorings. IWA considers that HS2 should review and change its whole approach to noise mitigation to comply with Government policy, and to recognise all waterway users as requiring noise protection.
The health and well-being benefits that the inland waterway provide are only now being recognised and IWA considers that every effort should be made to mitigate against incursions such as HS2. Providing adequate noise protection for all areas where boats may at present moor up in the vicinity of HS2, both in Phase 2A and previous and subsequent phases, would automatically also provide protection for towpath users and help maintain public use and enjoyment of the waterways and would go some way to mitigating the effect of HS2 on the inland waterways.
See the full text of IWA’s Petition on Phase 2a.
Find out more about IWA’s HS2 campaign.