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Councillor critical of route for new high speed rail link in Lichfield

EXCLUSIVE: Communities in Lichfield will feel “under siege” if plans for a new high speed rail link get the go-ahead, according to a Staffordshire County Councillor.

Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant has already criticised plans to build a 2.5 mile viaduct over parts of the city.

Cllr Matthew Ellis

Cllr Matthew Ellis

And with areas such as Streethay, Armitage and Fisherwick likely to experience disruption if the 250mph rail line goes ahead, Cllr Matthew Ellis (Cons, Lichfield Rural East) has joined the criticism of the scheme.

He said:

“The planned route will deepen further the sense that the local community in that area are under siege. The onslaught of blight and disruption will have spanned nearly 20 years by the time it is constructed.

“Residents have put up with massive disruption during the work to four track the West Coast Main Line, as well as being at the centre of a fight to stop major quarrying in the heart of the local community. The latest news is likely to deepen the sense of despair.

“I share Michael Fabricant’s opposition to this route as it is currently set out and will work closely with him and the community to try to force a change.”

Although the proposed route is a bone of contention, like his Conservative colleague Cllr Ellis believes a high-speed rail link could be beneficial to the economy – if the money can be found to build it in the first place.

He explained:

“If the High Speed Rail link is proved certain to boost the Staffordshire and West Midlands economy it’s difficult to argue against although, where the state of public finances lie today, it’s difficult to comprehend how £30billion will be found to achieve it even in the timescale proposed.”

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  1. Joe R

    13th March, 2010 at 8:18 am

    This exclusive has been in the Express & Star chaps…

  2. BrownhillsBob

    13th March, 2010 at 9:07 am

    The Lichfield Blog did it first. The E&S probably got their tip here, they’re a bit like that…


  3. Foxy

    13th March, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    £30 billion ? ? ? Yikes !

  4. Joe R

    16th March, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Come on Bob. I used to work in local media myself and it doesn’t take a genius to see that 99% of the Lichfield Blog is emailed press releases from councillors and PR firms. It’s an excellent local service, but the ‘exclusive’ stuff makes it look pretentious and amateur. And it WAS in the E&S a day earlier…!

  5. Ross

    16th March, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Okay, let me have my two penneth and then I’ll stay out of this. I’ve had a look on the E&S as I’ll be the first to hold my hands up if we’ve flagged something incorrectly. However, a search for Matthew Ellis turns up no reference to this issue, so I’ll stand by it.

    I’m not getting into the press release debate again, as you either like what we do or you don’t (and I’d contest we’re no worse than a lot of media operating with far more resources, but hey ho) – but what I will say is this story was not from a release by Cllr Ellis. It was from a request to him for his views on certain points I’d raised.

    I’m guessing TLB has moved up a notch these days though – more people are lining up to bash us! ;o)

  6. BrownhillsBob

    16th March, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Oi there, Mr. Grumpypants, I was defending you there! I stand by my comments on the M6 toll thing, but you were on the money with this.

    Just for the record, like.

    Best wishes


  7. Ross

    16th March, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    I know you were Bob – I was replying to Joe R.

    I’m always grumpy regardless!

  8. Pingback: Lichfield villagers ready to fight against high speed rail viaduct