The proposed route for HS2 high speed rail line between London and the Midlands included several canal crossing points on the Trent & Mersey Canal in the area around Fradley Junction in Staffordshire. The proposed HS2 embankments and three crossings were in close proximity to the listed Woodend Lock and Lock Cottage on the Trent and Mersey Canal. This would have had a dramatically adverse impact upon a particularly tranquil and much loved length of a rural canal currently enjoyed by high numbers of visitors by boat, bike and on foot.
Since publication of the preferred route in 2011, IWA and CRT have been working closely together, to developing an ‘Alternative alignment’ for HS2’s Phase 1 route avoiding the Trent and Mersey Canal at Fradley. While both organisations accept that the Phase 2 Manchester link will cross the Trent & Mersey Canal between Shadehouse and Woodend locks, the proposed crossings joining Phase 1 to the West Coast Main Line can be eliminated.
Renowned engineering consultancy Hyder Consulting (UK) Ltd was commissioned by IWA and CRT to produce a technical report on the ‘Alternative Alignment’ in September 2013. The report setting out a feasible alternative alignment avoiding the canal, substantially reducing embankment heights and noise and visual intrusion, and potentially saving millions of pounds, has been submitted to HS2 Ltd by both organisations as part of the formal consultation process.
Senior representatives from IWA, CRT, Hyder Consulting (UK) Ltd and HS2 Ltd met on 4th March 2014 to discuss the technical and design details of the proposed ‘Alternative Alignment’ and its compliance with relevant rail design criteria. During the course of the highly productive meeting, it became clear that there is improved prospect of a technically viable alternative route at Fradley Junction. IWA, CRT and Hyder Consulting (UK) Ltd will continue to work closely with HS2 Ltd in the coming weeks to further develop and refine their proposals.
The Executive Summary of the Hyder Report was contained in IWA’s Phase 1 Environmental Statement Consultation Response, and a full copy is available to download from IWA’s website (7.3MB).
A visit by the Select Committee in September 2014, allowed IWA to visually demonstrate some of what would be lost with the help of a passing boater with the help of the following briefing document: HS2: Impact on Fradley Junction and the Trent & Mersey Canal Conservation Area (3.5MB PDF)
On the 1st October 2014, the Government announced plans to adopt the alternative alignment route proposed by IWA and CRT. Find out more about the announcement.
Download HS2: Impact on Fradley Junction and the Trent & Mersey Canal Conservation Area (3.5MB PDF) or read online via Issuu
The Executive Summary of the Hyder Report was contained in IWA’s Phase 1 Environmental Statement Consultation Response, and a full copy is now available to download from IWA’s website (7.3MB).
IWA's full response to HS2 Phase 2a Consultation (November 2016, 701KB)
IWA's full response to HS2 Phase 2a Design Refinement Consultation (November 2016, 738KB)