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Councillors warn residents must get best deal from accelerated HS2 scheme

Councillors have warned that speeding up the construction of HS2 must not come at the expense of local residents.

The HS2 Plus report has called for the controversial high speed rail scheme’s second phase from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds to be completed in 2027.

A graphic mock-up of the HS2 line

A graphic mock-up of the HS2 line

But Staffordshire County Councillor Mark Winnington said those affected by the route should get the best possible deal.

“While we are absolutely opposed to the scheme, we took the view very early on that we needed to champion the cause of our residents and businesses with HS2 Ltd and Government to ensure we get the best result for them and ensure we put forward a solid, credible case to mitigate the impact on our fantastic countryside,” he said.

“If the scheme is accelerated, this should also see earlier compensation for those blighted by the high speed link and we will be making clear the case for mitigating the impact of the scheme must not be allowed to be ‘rushed through’ to meet new timescales.”

Staffordshire will see the HS2 route cut through 33 miles of countryside, including parts of Lichfield and the surrounding villages.

Cllr Winnington added: “It seems the Government is pressing ahead with HS2 and if this is the case we feel that investment in the Handsacre Junction to improve links with the West Coast Main Line would help ensure the county shares in any future economic benefits.”

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