Canal & River Trust tries to mitigate HS2 impact

March 2018 - The Canal & River Trust is trying to persuade politicians to change existing plans for the new high speed rail link North of Birmingham, the section that runs from the West Midlands to Crewe will impact on the Trent and Mersey Canal in three places, and may mean canal closures over many years, as Alec Wood reports.

The Trust has submitted its formal petition against the High Speed 2 Phase 2a Hybrid Bill to the House of Commons Private Bills Office, identifying a number of areas where it would like changes made to the Bill to mitigate the effects of HS2 on the Trent & Mersey Canal, both during the construction phase and when the trains are running.

Peter Walker, national infrastructure services manager at the Canal & River Trust, explained: “Phase 2a has three particular locations along the Trent & Mersey Canal that we’re concerned about and want to work with HS2 to make changes.

“We’re not against HS2, but it’s really important that the impact on the canal network is minimised. We want the best deal for the waterways and think HS2 could work harder to mitigate the impact than their plans currently propose.”

The main areas of concern are:

Great Haywood will see a viaduct going across the Trent Valley. The Trust is concerned about the visual intrusion in an historic landscape wants a bespoke design for the viaduct to minimise its impact. It says that has already been achieved in Phase 1 in the Colne Valley.

The Trust is also concerned about the construction phase which could affect the canal at Great Haywood for many years whilst the rail line is built. The Trust wants to make sure the operation of the canal is protected from potentially long canal closures which are possible under the current proposals and there should be far fewer temporary bridge crossings than proposed.

At Fradley Junction a significant water main is set to be routed along the towpath during construction. C&RT wants it routed across a farmer’s field, lessening the impact on the canal. A construction access road could also be routed to avoid coming very close to the canal, and the visual intrusion of a construction compound should be mitigated.

At Kings Bromley, the Trust wants to see power cables routed under the canal rather than over the top to mitigate the visual impact.

To see the Trust’s petition visit: C&RT HS2 response documents.

Photo: An artist's impression of the HS2 crossing the canal - Except that there is a narrow lock - and that bridge has been drawn incredibly tiny!

User login