Council seeks HS2 compensation over 'levelling down'


Cheshire East Council is pursuing a compensation deal over the Government’s decision to scrap HS2 north of Birmingham.

HS2 would have been ‘the catalyst to reverse Crewe’s fortunes’; instead the town has come out as the ‘biggest loser’ after the line’s second phase was abandoned and the subsequent ‘Network North’ announcement gave no mention of investing in Crewe, council leader Sam Corcoran said.

Cheshire East has asked the Government for a ‘fair and equitable’ deal to restore the economic benefits that the rail line would have brought to Crewe and the rest of the borough.

The Crewe HS2 station that will never be built. Image: Arup

The decision to scrap the line means the borough will miss out on a £750m boost, 4,500 new homes and 5,000 new jobs, and has already impacted the confidence of investors and developers, Cllr Corcoran said.

He added: ‘What we will now see because of this decision is in fact levelling down.’

The council’s deputy leader, Craig Browne, said: ‘Crewe would have been the vital regional hub for HS2 services – the gateway to the North and the link between the North and Midlands – and on the back of Government’s HS2 promises, the council invested significant resources and made long-term plans based around 5-7 high-speed trains per hour stopping here.’

Cheshire East is seeking a package including compensation for council costs in relation to HS2, totalling £11.2m, as well as funding for road and transport improvements, Crewe station, and deprivation challenges in Crewe.

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