Work on HS2 rail link through Staffordshire to start earlier

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Gordon Davies, co-owner of Middleton House Farm

Gordon Davies, co-owner of Middleton House Farm

The controversial HS2 high-speed rail section through Staffordshire could be completed seven years earlier than expected, a government report says.

Phase 1 of the scheme, the line from London to Birmingham, is due for completion in 2026.

But MPs now recommend that the northern section of the line, originally due to be finished in 2032/33, should also be completed by 2026.

Gordon Davies, whose family have owned Middleton House Farm near Tamworth for more than 100 years, has called for a firm date for the start of construction to be finalised.

Mr Davies told StaffsLive: “Our biggest fears are not when HS2 will be completed but when construction begins in Staffordshire.

“We are going to lose our farm and I think we deserve to know when that will happen.

“We have been warned that in 2015, the government will enforce compulsory purchases of land across this area, but we have no idea how much that will be.”

The government is passing a bill which could become statute by 2015.

The bill will allow the government to  buy land for the construction of the HS2 line in Staffordshire and other counties.

Ben Ruse, a spokesman for HS2, said: “Given that Staffordshire is at the heart of operations in HS2, it will be a very good for employment opportunities in the area.

“This is the largest infrastructure operation this country has ever seen, and we can look forward to seeing over 400,000 jobs being created in the construction of the HS2.”

The total cost of the project is £42.6 billion with £7.5 billion needed for the high-speed trains.

Mr Ruse added: “This operation is four times bigger than the Olympics in cost and resources.

“Staffordshire will be widely affected so people are encouraged to check if the HS2 will be local to them.”

For more details of the areas that will be affected by HS2 please visit www.hs2.org.uk

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