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Raising concerns on phase 2 of HS2

A bullet train in Japan A bullet train in Japan © Thomas Nord/Shutterstock

CPRE has raised concerns about the impact of phase 2 of HS2 on the countryside and regeneration, and is calling for local communities to have the opportunity to influence the proposals.

We will be holding the Government to account against our five tests for sustainable high speed rail. CPRE county branches that are directly affected by the chosen route will want to consider whether there are better alternative routes or approaches to growing the rail network. We hope communities directly affected by phase 2 of HS2 can have greater opportunities to influence the proposals than has been the case for phase 1.

If the benefits of high speed rail are to justify the potential cost to the countryside, communities and the taxpayer, we need joined-up strategies to regenerate northern towns and cities, drastically reduce carbon emissions from transport and extend the rural rail network.

In summary, CPRE considers the following to be positive:
•    A greater proportion of the route is to run along transport corridors than phase 1 between London and Birmingham;
•    All but one proposed stations it will serve are to be in city centres or built-up areas rather than the Green Belt;
•    The proposed link to Heathrow has been shelved as the prospect of an environmentally devastating third runway becomes ever more remote;
•    No nationally designated landscapes, no grade I or II* listed buildings and only one SSSI would be directly affected.

However, CPRE has particular concerns about the following:
•    Proposal for a Manchester Airport station – this would put further pressure on the North Cheshire Green Belt and would suck jobs away from areas needing regeneration such as Salford;
•    Potential impact of the route on ordinary yet high quality countryside, such as north of Rugeley in Staffordshire and east of Northwich in Cheshire;
•    A significant number of large viaducts, such as over the Manchester Ship Canal, which could lead to visual and noise impacts over sizeable areas.


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