HS2 Campaign - Phase 1 Consultation

The Government first announced its preferred route for the £42 billion HS2 high speed rail line between London and the Midlands in 2011. The route showed several canal crossing points, particularly on the Trent & Mersey Canal in the area around Fradley Junction in Staffordshire. Since then, IWA has been involved with the proposals for the route, also known as phase 1, locally and nationally.

The closing date for the consultation on the Phase 1 Environmental Statement that accompanied the HS2 Phase 1 Hybrid Bill (formally known as the ‘High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill’) was Thursday 27th February 2014.

IWA's response included:

  • The need to preserve clearances over canals, towpaths and restorations for permanent and temporary works
  • The need to reduce impact on the Trent and Mersey Canal at Fradley by redesigning the crossings
  • Better design of the HS2 underbridge over the Grand Union Canal at Saltley Viaduct, to keep the space light and be less intimidating
  • The need for exceptional care with the new Curzon Street Station design above the Digbeth Branch & Ashted Lock, to preserve operability of the canal and create a positive environment (fitting into Birmingham City Council’s recent announcement on a Canal Quarter)
  • Better noise mitigation route-wide, with particular reference to canal users
  • The need to manage any ‘vertical deviations’ (i.e. raising or lowering the railway compared with existing plans) on canal crossings to ensure minimum headroom is maintained
  • Support for the use of Canal & River Trust's (CRT) ’Waterway Design Principles’ to guide the design of waterway/ HS2 intersections and make sure the ‘waterway angle’ is catered for.

Read IWA’s HS2 Phase 1 Consultation response

IWA and CRT worked together to commission a report on an ‘Alternative Alignment’ proposal at Fradley from Hyder Consulting (UK) Ltd, which confirms the viability of IWA's alternative proposed in January 2012. This report was included in its entirety in IWA’s response. In parallel with this submission, CRT and IWA have held discussions at many levels including IWA's National Chairman, Les Etheridge and CRT's Chief Executive, Richard Parry, about how best to deploy the report. IWA and CRT will be meeting with HS2 Ltd to discuss the Hyder Report and press for its adoption.

Towards the end of May, IWA formally submitted its Petition to the House of Commons against the High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Bill.

At the visit by the Select Committee on 16th September 2014, we were able to visually demonstrate some of what would be lost with the help of a passing boater.

On 1st October 2014, the Government announced its decision to adopt the proposals, put forward by IWA and Canal & River Trust (CRT) to re-align the route of HS2.

HS2's Phase 1 Design Refinements Consultation

In July 2013 IWA also submitted a national response to the Design Refinements Consultation.

Download IWA's response to HS2 Design Refinement Consultation