Stoke & Staffordshire

Staffordshire County Council 'may oppose' rail link

Staffordshire County Council says it might oppose the government's planned multi-million pound London to Birmingham high-speed rail link (HS2).

It said the plan did not "stack up" after comparing its benefits with its negative impact on the county.

The proposed route would cut journey times between London and Birmingham to 49 minutes.

Some residents in Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Buckinghamshire and Staffordshire are against the scheme.

In Staffordshire the proposed route would pass through Tamworth, Lichfield and Elmhurst.

Council leader Philip Atkins said: "The council had weighed the benefits against the negative impact on local communities and found the scheme did not stack up for Staffordshire people.

'A disaster'

"This is not a 'knee-jerk', not in my back yard decision.

"We have given the proposal full consideration and listened to the views of residents."

Since the plans were announced earlier this year, protest groups have formed under the name HS2 Action Alliance.

A £50m compensation fund has also been set up by the government for home-owners and firms "severely" affected by the route.

In September, Kenilworth and Southam MP Jeremy Wright said part of the route in Warwickshire had been revised.

Residents in Staffordshire have been invited to attend a meeting at Whittington Village Hall on Friday evening to discuss the plans further, the council said.

North Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce has said it would be a disaster if the line did not stop in the county.

Detailed public consultation is due to get under way in the new year.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites