High Speed Two is 'all pain and little gain' - leader says

Clr Terry O'Neill

Clr Terry O'Neill

First published in News

A HIGH speed train line through the borough ‘looks as though it will give Warrington all pain and little gain’ says Council leader Clr Terry O’Neill.

Warrington Borough Council has written to the developers HS2 Ltd for more information about the controversial proposals which would see the new railway line travel through part of east Warrington.

In it they put forward a series of questions asking whether the borough’s strong economy was taken into account while planning the spur line which links from Mere through Hollins Green and the surrounding areas to join the West Coast Mainline in Wigan.

Clr O’Neil (LAB - Burtonwood and Winwick) added: “Given the huge public investment involved, we must make absolutely sure HS2 delivers the maximum benefits. Warrington is one of the main engines of growth in the North West – we’re currently out-performing Manchester and Liverpool – and this needs to be taken into account when deciding the route and the stations where HS2 will stop.

“At the moment it looks as though HS2 will give Warrington all pain and little gain.

“The proposed route would cut through the borough, passing close to residential areas and going through the Taylor Business Park, yet at the same time we’ll be denied a station in Warrington.

”We’re asking some pretty searching questions because we need to make sure Warrington’s residents and businesses are being properly served.”

As well as the new route the letter questions plans for the West Coast Mainline - which will see HS2 trains continue to run up to Crewe on the fast line then change to the current network - knocking 30 minutes off the time to London from the town.

But a direct link from Warrington Bank Quay to Scotland looks set to go under the proposals.

The council says it is in principle in favour of the new rail link.

“But we must make sure the developers get HS2 right,” said Clr O’Neill. “The council is engaging very closely with HS2 Ltd and we want to reassure Warrington’s residents and businesses that we’re fighting their corner.”

Ian Jordan, HS2 Ltd director Leeds, Manchester and Heathrow, said: “During the course of designing the HS2 routes north of Birmingham, HS2 Ltd staff including board members, the chief executive, environmental specialists and engineers visited hundreds of sites to help determine the proposed route and how it could sit in the local environment. Very careful consideration was given to all aspects of the design as part of more than two years’ work on the proposed routes.

“The proposed route in this area was derived from a of balance of passenger demand, cost, engineering and the impacts on the environment and communities. We will continue to work closely with local communities and interested parties to refine plans and to find the right balance between delivering essential infrastructure and respecting the rights and concerns of those most affected.”

Comments (5)

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12:30pm Wed 15 May 13

Nifty789 says...

Not a little, it is a lot too late. A town which has three motorways di-secting it, and a population of excess of 200,000 people misses out. I would absolutely love for the campaign manifesto to made made public and comparable with that of Wigan's tender.
Not a little, it is a lot too late. A town which has three motorways di-secting it, and a population of excess of 200,000 people misses out. I would absolutely love for the campaign manifesto to made made public and comparable with that of Wigan's tender. Nifty789
  • Score: 0

3:30pm Wed 15 May 13

Karlar says...

Just because there is a huge public investment (aka our taxes) it doesn't mean to say there will be a huge public benefit. The history of our politically motivated multimillion pound schemes is littered with failures. The political thought processes which promote HS2 are the same ones which espouse PFI, where the bald financial facts are coming home to roost all around the country. I wonder how many British manufactured trains and carriages will be used on HS2?
Just because there is a huge public investment (aka our taxes) it doesn't mean to say there will be a huge public benefit. The history of our politically motivated multimillion pound schemes is littered with failures. The political thought processes which promote HS2 are the same ones which espouse PFI, where the bald financial facts are coming home to roost all around the country. I wonder how many British manufactured trains and carriages will be used on HS2? Karlar
  • Score: 0

7:40pm Wed 15 May 13

old-codger says...

It will not, I repeat, It will not benefit Warrington at all,
Its all planned,
It will not be stopping at Warrington, Anyone that uses it only knocks half an hour off the journey, Its a total waste of money. We have all been saying this for months.
It will not, I repeat, It will not benefit Warrington at all, Its all planned, It will not be stopping at Warrington, Anyone that uses it only knocks half an hour off the journey, Its a total waste of money. We have all been saying this for months. old-codger
  • Score: 0

6:12am Thu 16 May 13

grey_man says...

There are no net benefits of this project to the country or Warrington and I say that as a regular rail user. The only two people who routinely argue for this white elephant on the Guardian website both have vested interests in it and think that making a few thousand quid for themselves justifies the country wasting billions on this project.
There are no net benefits of this project to the country or Warrington and I say that as a regular rail user. The only two people who routinely argue for this white elephant on the Guardian website both have vested interests in it and think that making a few thousand quid for themselves justifies the country wasting billions on this project. grey_man
  • Score: 0

9:55am Thu 16 May 13

HighSpeedDrain says...

Warrington Council is asking HS2 for a full HS2 station at Bank Quay. Will this be alongside existing track or underground as Cheshire East hopes to get for Crewe? Either way, it would require a complete re-drawing of the Cheshire / Lancashire section. Will they still need the Manchester – Scotland link to Warrington’s east side, even though HS2 have no plans to use the current planned route until HS reaches Scotland?
Of course, Andy Burnham MP wants an HS station at Leigh on this east section to compensate his constituents – when it would only be used to overnight the Manchester-London HS trains at the nearby depot.
How ironic that Cheshire and Warrington LEP (a self-selected body of local politicians and entrepreneurs – take a look) lobbied for a full HS station at Crewe but not at Warrington.
For Ref look at:
https://www.gov.uk/g
overnment/uploads/sy
stem/uploads/attachm
ent_data/file/68953/
from-rail-town-to-hi
gh-speed-rail-city-a
-vision-for-crewe.pd
f
and at the board of http://www.candwlep.
co.uk/
When will our political leaders act rationally? The rhetoric they use is unbelievable.
Warrington Council is asking HS2 for a full HS2 station at Bank Quay. Will this be alongside existing track or underground as Cheshire East hopes to get for Crewe? Either way, it would require a complete re-drawing of the Cheshire / Lancashire section. Will they still need the Manchester – Scotland link to Warrington’s east side, even though HS2 have no plans to use the current planned route until HS reaches Scotland? Of course, Andy Burnham MP wants an HS station at Leigh on this east section to compensate his constituents – when it would only be used to overnight the Manchester-London HS trains at the nearby depot. How ironic that Cheshire and Warrington LEP (a self-selected body of local politicians and entrepreneurs – take a look) lobbied for a full HS station at Crewe but not at Warrington. For Ref look at: https://www.gov.uk/g overnment/uploads/sy stem/uploads/attachm ent_data/file/68953/ from-rail-town-to-hi gh-speed-rail-city-a -vision-for-crewe.pd f and at the board of http://www.candwlep. co.uk/ When will our political leaders act rationally? The rhetoric they use is unbelievable. HighSpeedDrain
  • Score: 0

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