Staffordshire - Campaign to Protect Rural England

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HS2 - the price to pay

Impression of HS2 route Impression of HS2 route Guardian
CPRE Staffordshire can, at long last, start to judge the environmental damage to be inflicted....
on Staffordshire countryside by the High Speed Rail proposals.
The route, running the length of the County north of Lichfield, has now been published. It imposes itself not only on long stretches of unspoilt tranquil landscapes, but also close to, or under! many villages and involves demolition of rural properties, farms and recreational areas.  As was foreseen by us, the railway engineers have now come up against the obstacle of Staffordshire’s topography, its hills and valleys which contribute so much to the County’s scenic beauty, but are intransigent barriers against the almost ruler-straight alignment demanded by the high speed train’s speed of up to 250 mph. The resulting route has many high embankments and deep cuttings with few tunnels, and the widest possible impact of the route’s visibility and damage due to its elevated routing.
CPRE has already stated its opposition to the principle of high speed rail as offering no advantages to the areas through which it passes and creating maximum negative environmental impact.  We now see, in detail, these consequences, with not even any compensation to the people of Staffordshire of faster travel home-to-home or economic uplift to areas such as Stoke on Trent. All that is left is the final admission by the Prime Minister that “we must have one because everybody else does”.
We, in Staffordshire CPRE, will continue to express our basic opposition to the concept of high speed rail as is now being publicised. However, what is on offer  by this consultation process is the opportunity to consider how this route may be modified, or its adverse effects minimised, mitigated or compensated.  The measures we shall be suggesting are wide-ranging and imaginative in their scope and comparable to the scale of this £34 billion project.
We urge that all Staffordshire residents whether directly affected or people who value their landscape heritage should respond to this opportunity to at least moderate the worst effects of this monster intrusion into our landscape and our lives.

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