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Shadow of HS2 still hangs over the borough

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THE shadow of the controversial HS2 high speed rail line still hangs over the Culcheth and Lymm areas of Warrington following the Government’s announcement that it is to accelerate construction work as far north as Crewe.
No decision has been made yet regarding the route beyond Crewe, including the Golborne Link, which threatens Culcheth in particular.
But buried in the detail of the announcement is a passage which indicates that the Golborne Link is still favoured.
The report states: “The Government believes there remains a clear case for a connection to the West Coast Mail Line from the Western Leg of HS2. This connection will help ensure that the Western Leg is fully integrated into the wider rail network in North West England and that the benefits of HS2 will be felt across that network.
“On balance, we continue to believe Golborne is likely to be the best location for such a link, as it strikes the best balance between overall costs and benefits.”
Frank Allen, chairman of CADRAG, the Culcheth and District Rail Action Group said: “If the Golborne Link goes ahead, it will be devastating for the people of Culcheth and the other surrounding communities who are affected.
“Over 700 local jobs will be lost, local amenities will be destroyed, and there will be major environmental damage.
“The alternative, to undertake local upgrading of the West Coast Main Line, will cost less and provide more and better benefits.
“The Government will announce its decision in a year’s time so there are 12 months for us to convince the Government not to build the Link.”
Mr Allen says anyone who wants to help fight the proposals should contact him on 01925 765017.
Warrington North MP Helen Jones and Warrington South MP David Mowat have both stated their opposition to the Golborne link which would have a devastating impact on the Culcheth and Rixton areas and would also have a lesser, but still serious effect on the outskirts of Lymm.
High Legh would also be effected.
HS2 Ltd – the company planning the high speed railway – has also indicated that it did not think there was a viable financial case for the link, so the news that the Government still favours it comes as a big blow to the Warrington area.
Warrington Borough Council has also indicated its opposition to the link, pointing out that the borough appeared to be getting “all pain and no gain” from the proposal.

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  1. There is no viable financial/business case for HS2 in total. But that has not stopped the government talking up and pushing ahead with what is plainly a vanity project. An overly expensive one to boot, for which the original (red lined) budget has recently increased before work has started. All the while leaving the existing rail network, which has been crying out for improvement for decades. So it should surprise no one that all things HS2 remain in the melting pot.
    The much trumpeted Northern Power House if it ever morphs into existence, would be better served by bringing rail service and connections between Liverpool, Warrington, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield then eastwards, into the 21st century.

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