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MP slams Government for delaying HS2 decision

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MP Helen Jones has criticised the Government for delaying for another year the announcement on the final route of the controversial HS2 high speed railway in the Warrington area.
The Warrington North MP said the delay would mean another year of misery for people suffering from “planning blight.”
She was supported by Culcheth councillors Chris Vobe and Matt Smith.
Ms Jones said: “After the optimistic noises coming from government over the past year about changing the route it is very disappointing to read the Secretary of State’s Command Paper which suggests he is minded to keep the Golborne Spur but won’t announce any decision until Autumn 2016.”
The MP said the decision rested firmly with the government who, when the original report by David Higgins, chairman of HS2 Ltd, was published, promised a announcement by mid-2015.
Then it was hinted it would be December 2015 and now the date had been put another 10 months.
“This is simply adding more misery to those suffering from planning blight.  Whatever his decision, the Secretary of State needs to make it quickly rather than stringing the process out.”
Cllrs Vobe and Smith issued a joint statement: “A very strong case has been made for why this part of HS2 Phase 2 is unnecessary.
“The proposal has been a blight on properties within Culcheth, Glazebury and Croft for two years. Those people who have been unable to sell their houses during this time deserve an end to the ongoing uncertainty.
“It’s completely inconsiderate to local people to extend the blight they are suffering so far into next year. I hope that the minister making this decision will apply common sense and consideration for the people of this ward by making the right choice within a more reasonable time frame.”

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