HS2 Agrees to IWA Proposal24 May 2018
In our Petition on the HS2 Phase 2A (West Midlands – Crewe) Hybrid Bill, submitted on 26 February 2018 the following request was included: "The height of the route across the Trent and Bourne Brook valley, including the Kings Bromley viaduct, Bourne embankment and River Trent viaduct, should be reduced to the minimum necessary for the road and river crossings to limit noise propagation over a wide area which includes the canal, and to reduce visual impact and construction costs."
A similar request was made by both Staffordshire County Council and Lichfield District Council in their Petitions.
On 19 April HS2 Ltd published an evidence paper for the Select Committee on the River Trent & Kings Bromley Viaducts Lowering Alternative. This conceded that, with minor changes to the drainage channels on the viaducts, the heights of the viaducts could be reduced by up to 3.5m with landscape and visual benefits and a cost reduction of £3.3m.
On 23 April at the start of the Councils’ combined evidence to the Select Committee, their Counsel reported that:
“Sir, first the good news, and that relates to Kings Bromley viaduct. Sir, there have been ongoing discussions regarding the content of an assurance from HS2. HS2 provided a revised assurance last week and there have since been further discussions and HS2 have today, that is to say this afternoon, agreed to further revisions. They have agreed to the inclusion firstly of a good faith provision in the draft assurance, and also a provision as to engagement and, sir, on that basis, Staffordshire County Council and also Lichfield District, which is the relevant district, are content with that assurance and as such, sir, we don’t propose to address you upon it.” (Hansard)
Whilst the text of the Assurance is yet to be published, it is clear that the request has been agreed.
We welcome this change which will enable us in further evidence made to the committee, to concentrate on other changes we have requested to improve noise mitigation for canal users at Fradley and Great Haywood.