Andrew Bridgen MP for North West Leicestershire has responded to the latest consulation on the route of HS2 asking that the route be reviewed again.
A new route for phase 2b of HS2 which runs through North West Leicestershire was published on the 15th November 2016. The changes moved the line east which whilst now avoiding major employment and infrastructure points has put new jobs at risk and has a major environmental impact.
In his response to the consultation, Andrew said ‘The new proposed route is an unacceptable option. Local surveys are suggesting job losses from businesses that would be forced to relocate or close because of this route would run into many hundreds.
The impact on several villages in my constituency is considerable. Appleby Magna will be dissected and the propsed line runs close to the Grade 1 listed Sir John Moore School and will potentially unsettle its foundations.
The annoucement is impacting Measham with work having to cease of part of a new housing estate. In addition to this, the level it is due to run at is causing significant problems with the restoration of the Ashby Canal which is the linchpin of the regeneration efforts in the village.
The historic village of Packington is also adversely affected as the route would run through a Conservation area and over the River Mease SSSI which is the only Special Area of Conservation on the entire HS2 route.’
Andrew concluded by stating ‘considering that HS2 is supposed to be about capacity rather than speed, I would ask that this route is reviewed once more and consideration given to routes which would have a lesser impact on the lives of residents and businesses in my constituency.’
Andrew said ‘HS2 have now produced 2 routes for phase 2B to go through North West Leicestershire and both are potentially devastating for jobs, regeneration and our environment. I am asking HS2 and the Minister responsible to look at this again and find a route which will have less of an impact. My preference remains of course for this White Elephant scheme to be cancelled completely.’