Cheshire East Council is urging people to join its conversation on the high-speed rail link HS2.
The authority understands that people want to know what this means for them and for their communities and wants them to help shape its future discussions with HS2 Ltd and the Department for Transport (DfT).
Since the Government’s preferred route was announced, Cheshire East has been analysing what it could mean for the area and has published a variety of detail at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/hs2 including a detailed breakdown of where the line is proposed to run.
The Council believes it will bring real benefits to Cheshire East, including a high-speed service taking passengers from Crewe to London in 58 minutes with two services each hour and a maintenance depot at Basford sidings at Crewe, creating between 200 and 300 jobs.
But right now, the Council wants to hear what the people think. What are the main benefits and drawbacks to them, their families and businesses?
This will help Cheshire East to represent their views as strongly as possible when the official consultation period on the route is announced by the Government later this year.
Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “Whilst we are delighted the plans will bring a huge economic boost to Cheshire East and the surrounding area, bringing in jobs, investment and stimulating growth, we also understand that some areas will have some serious questions about how it affects them.
“As a Council, our job is to listen to the people and make a case to the Government about how we want them to move forward with the HS2 proposals.
“To do this, we want to hear from everybody, whether it be residents, town and parish councils, businesses or anybody else whom the Department for Transport’s HS2 plans could impact upon in some way.
“I expect there to be plenty of feedback, both good and bad. This is understandable and I say to you now, we are listening to you, we will represent you and we will work together to do what is right for Cheshire East as a whole.”
Meanwhile, Ian Jordan, HS2 Ltd director for Leeds, Manchester and Heathrow, has indicated that people whose properties face demolition will be given compensation at “fair, unblighted market value”.
A consultation on the Exceptional Hardship Scheme (EHS), which aims to provide assistance for those property owners who are potentially more adversely affected by the proposal has begun and will close on April 29, 2013. People can take part by visiting http://www.hs2.org.uk/have-your-say/consultations/phase-two/exceptional-hardship-scheme
Meanwhile, the HS2 public enquiries team is available on 020 7944 4908 or HS2enquiries@hs2.org.uk