Cllr Janet Clowes (Wybunbury) and Cllr Steve Edgar (Haslington) met with Transport Minister Andrew Stephenson MP in Nantwich when he visited the Constituency last week, to discuss the progress of HS2a across both wards.
The High Speed Rail (West Midlands to Crewe) Bill secured Royal Assent on 11 February 2021 and is now the High Speed Rail (West Midlands – Crewe) Act 2021. Early engineering works, early ecological mitigation, archeological surveys together with the diversion of major utilities infrastructure such as the National Grid Gas pipeline, are already underway across the Wybunbury Ward at Wrinehill, Blakenhall, Chorlton and Checkley and across Basford and Weston in the Haslington Ward.
Cllr Clowes explained; “With so many different contractors all operating in a relatively small geographical area and using the same fragile rural lanes, we are finding that frequent road closures at short notice, inadequate road diversions and limited access to fields and farms during critical periods in the agricultural year are causing significant difficulties for our local residents and businesses”.
“We have therefore asked the Minister, and he has agreed, to report back to HS2 Ltd to request improved communications and synchronisation of works between the contractors, HS2 Ltd and Cheshire East Council, together with better liaison with affected residents to reduce the impact of the works on our rural hamlets”.
Cllr Edgar confirmed; “Although HS2a work is clearly focused on Wybunbury Ward parishes at the moment, we know that the work around Basford and Weston, where the tunnel mouth into Crewe will be sited, and significant road closures and reconstruction around Casey Lane, is already being scheduled.
We hope that by speaking out now, to the Minister and through the HS2a Liaison Meetings, we can minimise this type of problem going forward”.