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.
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.
“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.
“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.”