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Lichfield group planning to fight high speed rail plans

Lichfield residents have formed an action group to fight plans for a high-speed railway line which they fear will blight their homes and damage the environment.

Building work is due to start on the multi-billion pound High-Speed 2 (HS2) line in 2015 but residents fear the plans have already reduced the value of their homes.

Action groups have been set up the length of the line, which will run from London to the West Midlands with extensions planned to the North of England and Scotland, and the new Lichfield group hope to tap in on the expertise of  HS2 Action Alliance to become a powerful voice in the campaign.

Boley Park resident Iain Sands, who has been elected chairman of the Lichfield Action Group (LAG), said:

“There are no economic or environmental reasons for it. Lichfield will get all of the blight but none of the benefit.”

The proposed line will run through Lichfield district from Hints before connecting to the existing Trent Valley line at Elmhurst.

It will cut through farmland at Weeford, Swinfen and Packington before crossing Tamworth Road and going across Whittington Heath golf course. Darnford Moors Golf Club will also be bisected by the line, which will then go on a 685-metre viaduct over the A38 at Cappers Lane and Britannia Enterprise Park. The viaduct will then go over Burton Road at Streethay and the line will cross more farmland before another viaduct 250 metres long carrying the Up Trent Valley line over the new high speed line to a junction at Elmhurst Crossing.

Fifty-one-year-old Mr Sands, a general manager running a frozen food manufacturing company, warned that double-decker trains a quarter of a mile long will run every eight minutes in both directions at speeds up to 250mph. He added:

“Even if Lichfield residents can’t see the trains from their bedroom windows they will certainly hear them. We believe the sound will be audible from two miles away, which means they will affect everyone in the city and surrounding villages.”

Lichfield Action Group is hoping to combine with the existing Hints action group and Streethay Against Development and is confident of attracting Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant, who has already expressed his opposition to the proposed route, to join them in their campaign.

The group plans to call a public meeting as soon as possible, by which time it aims to have enlisted support from residents across Lichfield and surrounding areas, regional and local government, and heritage, conservation and environmental groups.

Anyone who would like to find out more about the group can email lahs2t@gmail.com or telephone Mr Sands on 07824893210.

tommy_reid@yahoo.co.uk

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1 Comment

  1. Mr Riley

    4th August, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    I agree with much of the comments above. However, some of the descriptions of the route are a little ambiguous. To fully understand the affected locations the current proposed plans can be downloaded from the Department for Transport’s website:

    http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/rail/pi/highspeedrail/hs2ltd/route/map29.pdf
    http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/rail/pi/highspeedrail/hs2ltd/route/map30.pdf

    In instances like this the facts need to be crystal clear to build a reasoned argument and hopefully the above links should assist.