Lichfield villagers ready to fight against high speed rail viaduct

A group of Lichfield residents have vowed to open up a second front in the battle to save their village after plans were unveiled for a 2.5-mile long railway viaduct in the city.

The proposal – which forms part of the Government’s high-speed rail link scheme – has already come under fire from Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant and County Councillor Matthew Ellis.

And now Streethay Against Development chairman Roger Manning has added his voice to the criticism of the scheme.

His group are currently battling to prevent developers from building new homes in their village – but Mr Manning says they will be ready to fight a battle against the viaduct plans too.

He said:

“Is Streethay poorly represented by its public officers or is it just having a bad two decades? After the concerns over housing, local people are now confronted with an elevated section of the proposed High Speed rail track passing over the A38, the West Coast Rail line and the A5127 before it descends into the field alongside the West Coast line where others wish to build over 800 houses.

“The residents of Streethay are beginning to wonder ‘what next?’.  Perhaps an annexe to Heathrow!

“The report presented by the Transport Minister to the House of Lords states that the Consultants working for the Labour Government have been in consultation with all relevant Local Authorities.  Presumably that includes Lichfield District Council!  We are all wondering what they had to say about this proposal.  We shall be asking that shortly question.

“In the meantime, there is clearly the need for a strong harmonious voice to rise in unison against this monstrosity.”

Mr Manning did concede the need to improve public transport systems, but was concerned that the high speed rail link between London and Birmingham would have little benefit for Lichfield residents, despite the disruption the viaduct and other works would cause.

He explained:

“We need to grasp future transport and technology systems to enhance our lives and to progress our standards of living but will reaching London by train from Birmingham fifteen minutes more quickly change our way of life and business?

“Not forgetting that we will still need to travel by local service from Lichfield to Birmingham New Street and then walk to the designated new station to jump on one of the super-fast imported Japanese trains costing billions of pounds.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

3 Comments

  1. Rob The Builder

    17th March, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    “but will reaching London by train from Birmingham ………change our way of life and business?”. As Britain tries to compete with France, Germany etc (all who have high-speed rail links) for economic prosperity, I’m sure the government will be dazzled by Mr Manning’s input. NIMBYism at it’s worst.

  2. Streethay Swampy

    8th April, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Rob, I don’t think it’s NIMBYism. The main issue must be the viaduct slicing through Lichfield. Surely common sense should prevail, why not take the curve around Lichfield, perhaps going over the Buron-Lichfield line, canal and the A38 between Streethay and Hillards Cross (Fradley turnoff), this route would mean a lower viaduct which in turn would be a cost saving. Bonus…. the tax payers would save money and there would be less distruotion to the people of Lichfield.

  3. Adam

    8th April, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Unless the intention is to cause maximum disruption to the people of Lichfield to “punish” them for voting in a Conservative MP