Issue date: 16th August 2013
IWA has recently had some informal feedback, that HS2 Ltd believes the consultation responses that it has received on its Design Refinement proposals would not require any major changes to its proposed London to Birmingham route (including spurs to Leeds and Manchester). If this information is subsequently confirmed the major impact on the Trent & Mersey Canal in the Fradley area would continue.
For those not familiar with the plans, HS2 Ltd proposes four viaduct crossings over the Trent & Mersey Canal as well as associated approach embankments. One of these is 350m beyond Shade House Lock for the Manchester spur, and will be about 8m high carrying two tracks. The second and third crossings will be single track, 560m and 590m beyond Shade House Lock, and 15m and 8m high carrying the HS2 West Coast Main Line links across the canal. These two link lines would then join, and re-cross the canal in the fourth crossing, 150m beyond Wood End Lock at a height of 12m.
These crossings would significantly impact this section of the canal by changing the surrounding environment and wildlife. IWA believes a much better option of diverting three of the crossings away from the canal line could be achieved with other benefits.
In view of this position, IWA Trustees have agreed to retain rail consulting engineers to undertake a feasibility study of our proposals, and compare then with those currently on the table from HS2. If the report confirms IWA’s position, this evidence will be used to discuss with other stakeholders and to deploy in the remaining processes of obtaining authorisation to construct phase 1, to get HS2 Ltd to reconsider its proposals. Although the cost of getting the facts to support our position is significant, IWA believes it is a worthwhile investment in getting the right answer at Fradley.
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