Canal & River Trust petitions government over HS2 concerns

The submission highlights the need to minimise disruption for canal and inland waterway users

The Canal & River Trust has submitted a petition to the government that highlights three specific areas at risk from the proposed HS2 high-speed rail development.

Scrubs Lane near Paddington in London, the Trent & Mersey Canal at Fradley Junction near Lichfield, and the Eastside & Digbeth canal quarter in Birmingham have all been picked out for special attention.

The trust is not opposed to HS2 going ahead, but wants to ensure that the disruption caused to inland waterways users is kept to a minimum.

It is hoped that this 18-page petition will lead to a redrafting of the High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Bill.

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Richard Parry, chief executive of the Canal & River Trust said: “We remain open to working collaboratively with HS2 Ltd but are determined to protect our nation’s canal heritage and much-loved waterway environments.”

Mr Parry described the plans for the Birmingham canal quarter (pictured above) as “visionary” but is seeking assurances that the considerations of Britain’s 12 million annual canal visitors will be taken into account.

The Canal & River Trust’s key concerns include increased noise pollution and vibrations, the need to promote biodiversity, and the safeguarding of heritage assets.

HS2 is a £42.6 billion rail development, which would get underway in 2017 with a 2026 target completion date.


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