LEADER of Warrington Borough Council Terry O’Neill has branded the government as “irresponsible” over its failure to announce the final route of the HS2 high speed railway in the Warrington area.
He has also reaffirmed his commitment to ensure Warrington’s position on the Hoo Green to Bamfurlong spur line – the section that will run through Culcheth, Rixton and the outskirts of Lymm – is made clear not only to the Government but also to HS2 Ltd.
Cllr O’Neill acknowledged the work being carried out by councillors from the Culcheth and Rixton areas on behalf of local residents.
He was responding to comments made by Cllr Chris Vobe at the monthly meeting of the council.
The Culcheth councillor said the failure to decide the final route would cause another 12 months of uncertainty and housing blight in the affected are and showed the government’s contempt for local people.
After the meeting, Cllr Vobe said he was pleased Cllr O’Neill continued to lobby for Warrington on a regional and national level.
He said he and fellow Culcheth councillor Matt Smith would continue to do the same, working with the local action group and people affected by HS2.
“Another 12 months of blight and uncertainty is simply unacceptable,” he added.
Meanwhile, Nick Bent, spokesman for Labour in Warrington South, also weighed in with condemnation of the delays which he said would blight the Lymm area.
Before the election, the government had promised a decision before Christmas.
But now they had stated no decision would be made until next autumn – and also indicated that they felt the spur line was still “the best option.”
This left Lymm “in limbo” with the threat of HS2 still hanging over the village.
He pointed out that both the main political parties in Warrington South, and the borough council, supported HS2 in principle but all were agreed there was no business case for the spur line, which should be dropped immediately.