How we use Cookies

Call for council to oppose HS2 proposal

A borough councillor has said hopes of securing significant changes to the high-speed rail line through Solihull are fading fast

A borough councillor has said hopes of securing significant changes to the high-speed rail line through Solihull are fading fast.

Coun Chris Williams (Green, Chelmsley Wood) was speaking after it was revealed that several key concessions had been rejected in a Department for Transport document.

The draft environment statement has ruled out a deep bore tunnel for the stretch of track between Berkswell Station and the new interchange, near the NEC.

The news will be a bitter blow for those living in villages like Balsall Common and Hampton-in-Arden, who argued that taking the trains underground would hugely reduce disruption for local communities.

Residents in Chelmsley Wood are also concerned that the revised route does not improve their situation.

While the line has been shifted east, sparing the Bluebell Recreation Ground, the track will instead scythe through nearby football pitches.

And although carriages wont pass so close to homes on Yorkminster Drive, a viaduct between 10 and 16 metres high means that noise levels are likely to be higher than under the original proposals.

Coun Williams said it was time for Solihull Council to consider abandoning its conditional support for high speed rail.

"It's got to the point where, across the whole of Solihull, nothing has really changed. Theres no sign of a tunnel in the Balsall area and the situation in Chelmsley is very mixed.

"It seems HS2 just want to go ahead and build rather than trying to come up with a scheme that is best for everyone.

"If were not getting the changes we want, the one option the council has left is to oppose the scheme, as other councils along the route have done."

Meriden MP Caroline Spelman said she was disappointed that not all the requests from constituents had been introduced.

"I will continue to press for mitigation and better compensation for my residents, she said, having previously acknowledged the difficulties for those affected."

Mrs Spelman has said she is also considering introducing a private members bill, calling to improve compensation for those who have been blighted by the multi-billion pound project.

 

Journalists

Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
Full newsroom contact details
Tell us what's happening in your area.