MINISTERS are being urged to rethink a part of the HS2 route which would spell 'disaster' for Culcheth and Croft.

Council leader Cllr Terry O'Neill will be writing to Chris Grayling, secretary of state for transport, to object to the proposed permanent closure of Wigshaw Lane by HS2 Ltd.

It comes after a motion was backed by councillors during Monday's full council meeting.

The motion said closing Wigshaw Lane – the only established route between Culcheth and Croft – would result in the two communities being cut off from each other.

It calls on Mr Grayling to take action to prevent the closure of the road.

Cllr Joan Grime (LAB – Culcheth, Glazebury and Croft), who proposed it, said: "The route planned for HS2 through this borough is appalling.

"Upgrading the West Coast Main line is a much better option.

"HS2 Ltd are not consulting on the route anymore.

"They have closed down any further discussion with us until the HS2 Bill goes to Parliament.

"In the meantime, I believe we need to take every opportunity to bring HS2 problems to the attention of Government ministers.

"If HS2 is built on the route currently planned, it will be a disaster for Culcheth and Croft anyway, without any additional problems to our roads.

"Cutting Wigshaw Lane would be a totally unjustified aggravation of the damage."

Cllr Andrew Hill (LAB – Rixton and Woolston) called on the Government to rethink the 'hugely damaging' route.

He said: "The minister for transport must be made aware of the damage that is being done by HS2 to historic communities in Warrington and its people."

Furthermore, Cllr Matt Smith (LAB – Culcheth, Glazebury and Croft) believes the villages 'need and rely' on each other.

He added: "Anything the council can do to weaken the case for the expensive and problematic Golborne link strengthens the case for an east-west link through Bank Quay, by providing an alternative link to the West Coast Main Line, which will bring economic benefits to the town."

However, HS2 Ltd insists it is striving to minimise any negative impact on the area and says it is exploring options for Wigshaw Lane in line with feedback from residents.

A spokesman said: "HS2 is coming to Warrington and the area will reap significant benefits as a result.

"Over 90 companies in the north west have already been awarded contracts working on the project and we expect that number to increase significantly as plans for phase two of the railway progress.

"When construction peaks, as the phase two network progresses, the number of jobs supported by HS2 is forecast to rise to 30,000.

"We recently launched our public consultation on the working draft environmental statement, which sets out our commitment to minimising the impacts of the railway during construction and operation.

"We actively encourage people to get involved and have their say in shaping plans for the railway."