Issue date: 5th August 2013
HS2 consultations have come in quick succession, the third now open and focusing on phase 2.
IWA has replied to the first two consultations, on Design Refinements, and a draft Environmental Statement on the phase 1 London to Birmingham route which includes the ‘stubs’ for routes to Manchester and Leeds, the latter of which has a major impact on the Trent and Mersey Canal at Fradley. These responses are on the website, and so far we have heard nothing more.
The third recent consultation is on the phase 2 routes announced at the end of January, from Birmingham to Leeds and from Birmingham to Manchester. There have already been two small changes from the January route, near East Midlands Airport, and at Sheffield Meadowhall. Launched on 17th July, this consultation closes on January 31st 2014 and is available to view or download on HS2’s website.
In view of the large size of the documents and the variety of information they contain, IWA will prepare a ‘digest’ focusing on waterway issues to be made available via our website for the benefit of our members. Those of you who visited the National Festival will have seen the map of the phase 2 routes with ‘Canal Impact Hotspots’ marked showing HS2’s effect on current navigations, with restoration impacts in addition.
So, whether your interests are narrow or wide canals, cruiseways or commercial, from the Trent and Mersey to the Manchester Ship Canal via the Aire and Calder, HS2 is affecting waterways and restorations as it plans its routes northward. Despite occasional press comment, parliament continues to legislate for its progress, and we all need to remain vigilant to ensure our waterways’ interests are protected for the long term.
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