WARRINGTON Borough Council has welcomed plans to remove the controversial Golborne Link from the HS2 (Crewe to Manchester) rail programme.
Council chiefs have been supportive in principle of the Crewe to Manchester section of HS2, which will help to support Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) services, in turn benefitting Warrington through improved access and connectivity to the town.
But the council has equally remained steadfast in its opposition to plans for the Golborne Link section, which was included in plans for the HS2 Western Leg Phase 2B.
The council undertook work that questioned the business case for the Golborne Link and instead made a strong case for improvements to the existing West Coast Main Line through Warrington.
Following an assessment of plans in late 2021, through the independent Union Connectivity Review, it was found that the Golborne Link will not resolve current rail constraints on the West Coast Main Line between Crewe and Preston. High-Speed Rail plans are therefore now accounting for the removal of the Golborne Link from the Crewe to Manchester section and the government is expected to consider alternatives.
Leader of the Council Russ Bowden, said: “We have had concerns about the Golborne Link since the idea was first proposed, and I’m therefore really pleased to see that it is now no longer part of High Speed Rail plans.
“We recognise the huge benefits HS2 will bring to the north of the country, providing Warrington with better access and transport links. The Golborne Link, however, has always been a deal-breaker for us. It would have had profound and unnecessary impacts on many of our communities with no discernible benefits for our town.
“We have fought hard for our communities on this issue and have consistently pressed the case for the Golborne Link to be removed. I am very pleased that the government has listened to our representations and that it no longer features in their plans.”
More information about HS2 and proposed changes can be found at: hs2.org.uk/in-your-area/local-community-webpages
A hard-fought victory for common sense and long overdue, the HS2 Golborne Spur has finally been removed from the Bill!
A huge thank you to campaigners across Warrington North and beyond who have helped me keep the pressure on the Government to do the right thing 👏 pic.twitter.com/F0eVJwPPji
— Charlotte Nichols (@charlotte2153) June 7, 2022