Proposals for the HS2 High Speed Railway have threatened numerous peaceful locations on our inland waterways with noise and visual impacts on the canal environment. Active restoration schemes have also been jeopardised. We have followed developments, responded to consultations and petitioned government over proposed plans to minimise the effect on our waterways.
The Promoter’s Response Document to the Second Special Report of the HS2 Select Committee misrepresents a discussion with IWA after the report’s publication, and uses the setting up of the ‘Trent Sow Parklands and Cannock Chase AONB HS2 Group’ as an excuse for not implementing the committee’s recommendation to install a 5m noise barrier on the Great Haywood Viaduct to reduce the impact on the marina. It also distorts the recommendation to “look at providing further noise mitigation at Fradley Wood” by offering an ‘assurance’ to only “consider whether additional noise mitigation is required”.
Phase 2B is even more extensive than Phase 1 and affects at least 16 waterways in 22 locations, with major impacts on the Middlewich Branch, the Trent & Mersey Canal, Bridgewater Canal, Coventry Canal, Ashby Canal restoration, Erewash Canal and Chesterfield Canal restoration.
The visual impact of the proposed viaducts, bridges and embankments will partly depend on future detailed design, but the currently proposed noise mitigation is clearly inadequate.
The work involved in reviewing reports, map books and supporting documents is extensive, but is important to ensure our inland waterways along the route are protected and restored. Our expert volunteers will continue to work in collaboration with our local branches and other organisations to get the best outcome for our canals and rivers.
Read the full update on HS2 by one of our Planning Officers, Phil Sharpe.
The full details of IWA’s comments on these and other issues can be seen by downloading IWA’s response to the Working Draft Environmental Statement.
Photo: Forest Middle Top on a navigable section of the Chesterfield Canal by Jan Warsop