Uncertainty hanging over HS2 route following Stapleford meeting
UNCERTAINTY is blighting the planning stage of the controversial HS2 railway, it has been claimed.
A meeting was held on Thursday evening where a presentation was given to around 15 people, made up of councillors, MPs and those affected.
The presentation was an update on the possible routes the line could take and where a ‘East Midlands Hub’ would be based.
It was originally thought that the hub would be based in Toton, but the rail project’s chairman, Sir David Higgins, said in a TV interview earlier this year that a station “near Breaston” was being considered.
But those who gathered at the meeting said the time frame it has taken to be pulled together is unfair on those whose lives will be affected by the proposed line.
Councillor Richard MacRae, who serves the Stapleford North ward on Stapleford Town Council, helped organise the meeting at The Old Cross in Stapleford.
He said: “I think it is the not knowing that people are most worried about.
“We would like to have the HS2 in Toton, and the people in Breaston don’t want it so it’s just about getting the route right.
“Some people don’t know what is going to happen to their homes so they can’t sell them or move, or change jobs. It’s unfair.”
The sentiment was echoed by parliamentary candidate for Erewash, Magie Throup.
She said: “It’s impossible for people to move from their homes until they start building the track.”
A presentation was made to the small crowd by Rachel Roberts, stake holder manager from HS2, and Natalie Kirkwood, a stake holder advisor.
Miss Roberts said: “We have been told to go through the consultation and have a deep look into what people have said.
“Everything that has been said we will take back and look at.
“But the decision will be made by the secretary of state, we are not the decision making body.
“This is a long-term plan and we want to make sure we make the right decision.”
She told the crowd a decision would be made on the route “towards the end of 2015”, and ensured them as soon as it had been made, they would hold similar presentations around the area.
Mis Roberts also said a strategy needed to be created and a group called Transport for the North had been set up.
MP for Broxtowe Anna Soubry attended the meeting, said she would like to see a similar thing in the East Midlands.
She said: “If there is a Transport for the North then why isn’t there a Transport for the East Midlands?
“As the local MP, I am all for having the HS2 in Toton, but who is putting forward an alternative at East MidlandsAirport?
“I think there seems to be a really good argument for a hub at East Midlands Airport, so why is no one making a case for it?”
Councillor MacRae said after the meeting: “I thought it was very helpful that they came here and hopefully they have taken all our concerns on board and will take those back with them.
“We all want the HS2, none of us are against it, it’s just about deciding the best route.”