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Villagers unite to fight HS2


VILLAGERS at Culcheth have voiced their strong opposition to the draft HS2 high speed rail line which would slice through the village’s Linear Park if current proposals go ahead.
More than 200 people attended a meeting at Culcheth High School organised by the Friends of the Linear Park, Culcheth and Glazebury Parish Council and local borough councillors.
It was decided to oppose the proposed route through the Culcheth and Croft area and to set up an action group to fight the proposals.
More than 20 local people put their names forward as being willing to get involved in the action group and a collection raised £204 to help launch the group.
Parish council chairman Keith Bland, who chaired the meeting, said: “The line which affects Culcheth is not the main HS2 but a spur line.
“There is no way we could stop HS2, but there is every chance of stopping the spur line, or perhaps getting it amended. It is certainly not a lost cause.
“It was a very good meeting and everyone was united.
“I cannot see why HS2 can’t go through Warrington Bank Quay station.”
Among others at the meeting were parish councillor Matt Smith, borough councillors Chris Vobe, Les Hoyle and Sue Bland, parish councillor Jacqui Johnson, Croft Parish Council chairman Val Allen, Paul Taylor from the Taylor Business Park and representatives from Lowton and Rixton, where action groups have already been set up.
Cllr Smith gave a presentation on HS2 as it impacts on Culcheth and commented on what he believed was a complete lack of any economic assessment by the government on the benefits to the Warrington area.
After the meeting, Cllr Vobe said: “What came across strongly was the determination and great community spirit that continues to prevail.
“Local councillors, at borough and parish level, are united on this issue and have committed to working together to oppose the current route which would be extremely detrimental to Culcheth.
“It was said at the meeting, and it’s absolutely true, that we must pull together, regardless of party politics, to fight for the best deal for our area. We all agree that the current proposals deliver little to no economic benefit to the villages and would see residents suffer immense disruption for no reward.”
Cllr Vobe said he and local MP Helen Jones had already held discussions with senior borough council officers over possible alternative routes and working with other local authorities to help strengthen the case.
Volunteers who signed up for the action group will meet shortly.
Cllr Bland suggested that one of the first things the group should do would be to have talk with the action groups at Lowton and Rixton about co-operating together.
In addition to cutting through the Linear Park, the draft route also appears to impact on the Taylor Business Park, run straight through the Old Rectory in Warrington Road and also affect the Hollins Green area.
Picture: Culcheth Linear Park


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1 Comment

  1. Geoff Settle (Chair WNCF) on

    This will be on the agenda of the Warrington Nature Conservation Forum Spring Meeting but not as a major item as we have a packed programme. However if a representative member of the newly formwed committee would like to attend they are more than welcome at Risley Moss 10:30pm on 2nd March.


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