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County council opposes HS2

Wednesday 15th December, 2010

"
At this time the county council can see no benefit from HS2 for Warwickshire and today’s council resolution reflects our concerns.
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Cllr Alan Cockburn, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment and Economy
Warwickshire County Council has voted to oppose the proposed HS2 London to Birmingham high speed rail link.

The proposed route of the scheme will pass through Warwickshire from Wormleighton in the south to Middleton in the north of the county.

The Secretary of State for Transport, Philip Hammond, will be officially notified of the county council decision along with local MPs. The authority has also committed to full engagement with the consultation process, which is due to start in February.

Cllr Alan Cockburn, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment and Economy, said “At this time the county council can see no benefit from HS2 for Warwickshire and yesterday’s council resolution reflects our concerns.

“We are committed to continuing to work with HS2 Ltd to ensure that if the proposals go ahead we manage any future impact on the Warwickshire countryside, and our residents, businesses and recreational facilities are protected as much as possible.”

The county council is concerned that much of the information needed to show the benefits of the scheme has still not been made available. Members believe that there is insufficient evidence of the benefits of the proposals for Warwickshire for the county council to support the scheme.

The information supplied to date by HS2 Ltd has failed to provide a sound justification in environmental and economic terms for benefits to the residents of Warwickshire.

The authority has been in full dialogue with the delivery company HS2 Ltd and other groups since the proposals were announced last March.

The county council will receive further reports once the public consultation – due to start in February - is underway. Officers will look in detail at the impact of the proposal once the final route for consultation is announced, which is expected to be just before Christmas.

The timescale for activities after that time is set out below:

Estimated Timing
HS2 Project Stage

December 2010
Announcement from SofS for Transport on final route proposals between Birmingham & London

February- July 2011
Consultation on high speed rail London to West Midlands Route

Late Summer 2011
Publication of line of route from Birmingham to Manchester/Leeds

July – December 2011
Analyse of consultation responses and publish proposed route and strategy

March 2012
Consultation on line/s of route north of Birmingham

October 2013
First Hybrid Bill goes to Parliament

2017
Completion of Cross Rail

2015
Commencement of enabling works

The county council’s dedicated website at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/hs2 continues to act as a repository for information and will be updated as the consultation is launched and plans for the rail link progress.