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Consultation on HS2 Phase 2b

Monday, 02 October 2017 11:49

Comments submitted on draft Environmental Impact Assessment Scope and Methodology Report

The Lancashire and Cheshire Branches of CPRE have jointly submitted a response to the HS2 Phase 2b: Crewe to Manchester and West Midlands to Leeds draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Scope and Methodology Report (SMR) consultation, which sets out the methodology proposed for determining the likely environmental impacts.

This followed the announcement in July 2017, by the Department for Transport (DfT) on the preferred route for the remainder of Phase Two of HS2 and outlined construction is anticipated in 2023, with railway operations starting in 2033. In preparation, a hybrid Bill will go to Parliament in 2019, and consultants are undertaking an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to inform an Environmental Statement (ES) for Stage 2b: Crewe to Manchester with connections to the West Coast Main Line at Crewe and Golborne.

Regrettably, CPRE Lancashire and Cheshire regard the scope of the EIA SMR as too limited, due to inadequate consideration of alternative options, and genuine concerns that HS2 Phase 2b will not compare favourably with alternative options for the climate change topics:

  •  the greenhouse gas (GHG) assessment;
  •  the in-combination climate change impacts assessment; and
  •  the climate change resilience assessment.

Therefore, we make the case for up to date analysis of east to west rail options to support improved connectivity for northern cities, and to support more freight being transport from Liverpool2 port. Otherwise, rail capacity will be sorely limited in the future, promoting road haulage, which is bad for the environment.

We refer to the CPRE published report the End of the road? Challenging the road-building consensus, March 2017, which revealed that road-building is failing to provide the congestion relief and the economic boost promised, while devastating the environment. The report shows how road building over the past two decades has repeatedly failed to live up to similar aims. The Government is wrongly focusing too much public money on road-building, which promotes an increase in car usage, in complete opposition meeting its obligations.

Instead, we believe the Government should focus investment on a fully co-ordinated sustainable transport system. A proper transport ‘network’ by providing cross-country links to help the city-regions link, and thereby better thrive in the future is needed. As it stands, our entire national transport system links London to all major towns, akin to a wheel’s hub and spokes, but it is terribly deficient in inter-city connectivity.

Under Part B: Environmental topics, the response highlighted issues concerning: agriculture, forestry and soils, air quality, climate change, community, ecology, landscape and visual, major accidents and disasters; socio-economics, sound, noise and vibration and traffic and transport.

CPRE requested further consultation and engagement for the landscape and visual impacts section of the Environment Statement, as our members should be able to positively contribute with appropriate local knowledge to the process.

Please see the attachment below for CPRE’s full submission.

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