Stafford councillors oppose HS2 plans

Stafford Borough Council oppose HS2

Stafford Borough Council oppose HS2

Stafford Borough councillors have blasted plans for the Hs2 railway, claiming the scheme could have a negative impact on investment.

HS2 is a plan to introduce a high speed railway, connecting London to the West Midlands.

A second phase would expand that route into a wider network connecting Birmingham to Manchester, Leeds and eventually further north.

Councillor Frank Chapman, who represents Eccleshall ward, said: “If ever there was a project seeking justification it is HS2.

“I cannot see what the justification is for this build.

“If it is built there is little or no benefit for Staffordshire.

“It will be paid for by the many and used by the few.”

But Councillor Stephen O’Connor, representing Highfields and Western Downs ward, said adding a station at Stoke-on-Trent would not add any benefit to the proposed scheme.

He said: “ I do accept it won’t benefit Stafford or Staffordshire directly but I do think it is something that will benefit the country.

“Having said that I don’t think adding a station to Stoke will benefit at all.”

Councillors said HS2 would destroy the countryside and  “suck business away from the county.”

They proposed: “If HS2 is to proceed, we encourage government to introduce comprehensive, fair, and timely compensation schemes to reduce blight and uncertainty for those residents and businesses affected.”

Stoke-on-Trent City Council leader Mohammed Pervez said a station in the city would boost the economy, but without it, HS2 would have a negative impact on the area.

He said:  “The current HS2 route for consultation cuts straight through the region without bringing any benefits for the city or the county. Indeed the city would lose out by up to £78million a year according to KPMG, with negative ripple effects for the surrounding towns, including Stone.

“If government agree to have a high speed network for the UK, then it is vital that local people and their economic and environmental interests will not be ignored and bypassed. The Stoke-on-Trent option delivers on both counts.”

HS2 commercial director Beth West said: “HS2 will generate billions of pounds worth of contracts, giving businesses large and small across the UK the opportunity to bid for work during the construction and operation of HS2.

“HS2 offers this country a much needed chance to re-balance the economy, support hundreds of thousands of jobs and develop our national skills base.”

Stafford Borough Council agreed to oppose HS2 as part of the government’s consultation on the proposed high speed route.


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