A transport union chief has hit back at claims by Cheshire Wildlife Trust that High Speed 2 (HS2) may damage protected wildlife sites, including ones near Warrington.
Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA General) Secretary, Manuel Cortes,challenged the findings of the study – drawn from the Trusts, charities and landowners along the route – saying the high-speed rail project would make a “very significant contribution towards cutting our carbon emissions” while actually “safeguarding our plants and wildlife”.
The Trusts have called on Boris Johnson to “stop and rethink” HS2. In response Cortes called for the project to go all the way to Scottish cities, citing both environmental and economic reasons for pressing ahead.
Cortes said: “The time for debate on HS2 is well and truly over. It should be given the green light and should go all the way to Scotland so that we are able to shift people and freight from road to rail.
“HS2 not only builds much needed rail capacity and puts rocket boosters under regional economies – but crucially will also make a very significant contribution towards cutting our carbon emissions.
“These are a major cause of climate change which is itself the greatest threat to our plants and wildlife.
“Of course, we expect HS2 to do whatever possible to protect wildlife along its route. Also, we know from the Olympic Park in London – which teems with plants, animals and insects – that much can be done to protect and enhance wildlife when building major infrastructure projects.
“I’d say to the Wildlife Trusts – the bigger picture on HS2 can’t be ignored. There is not a moment to lose in pushing ahead, the evidence shows this high-speed rail project is vital for our country in so many ways.”
Cheshire Wildlife Trust say construction of the controversial HS2 rail network will have a devastating impact on nature, inlcuding areas in Lymm and Warrington.
Published yesterday (Wednesday) the report, which claims to be the most complete assessment of the environmental damage that HS2 will cause. reveals, the vast scale of the destruction and impact it will cause to nature across the county.
One of the areas under threat is Holcroft Moss. This wetland reserve near Glazeboork, Warrington, is the only known area of lowland bog in Cheshire that hasn’t been cut for peat.