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A win for countryside campaigners as harmful HS2 route is scrapped!

8th June 2022

Cancelling the Golborne Link will save Green Belt land and vital wetland areas

CPRE Cheshire and CPRE Lancashire, Liverpool City Region are celebrating the Government’s announcement that some proposed HS2 Phase 2b routes are to be scrapped. The countryside charities objected due to the foreseen harms that the routing and station location through valuable rural areas would cause. Green Belt purpose would have been harmed and there were significant and substantial adverse impacts, especially to woodland (including ancient) and ecology, outweighing the purported good.

Jackie Copley, Planning Director said:

“We celebrate this announcement, as do many local communities directly impacted by the scrapped proposals. Quiet rural places would have been permanently altered with the built form and tranquility lost. Our members were particularly concerned over the impact of the 13-mile Golborne Link to the West, which threatened rare peat mosslands and ecology that is protected in Trafford and Warrington. Warburton village would have been cut in two. Sphagnum moss and other rare flora and fauna would have risked extinction. We are grateful to our local MPs who supported our case.”

“The public should understand that HS2 will still connect with West Coast Mainland services at Crewe, and the Golborne Link would have made passengers change trains at Preston leading to much less convenient travel to Scotland, and longer journey times, not high speed!”

CPRE Cheshire and CPRE Lancashire, Liverpool City Region remain supportive of the need for more investment in strategic rail connections and urge the Government to make good on its ‘levelling up’ commitments to support the economy of the north and midlands so they may operate more efficiently, equal to the south.

A comprehensive integrated transport network with more reliable, clean, and safe services better connecting cities, towns and rural places to give people the choice not to travel by cars, which are a known emitter of greenhouse gases is a priority. It is welcomed that London enjoys the newly opened Elizabeth Line, and the north and midlands hope commitments to improve the quality of transport will lead to a similar level of investment in HS2 alternatives.

Warburton Park Ian Greig via Geograph