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HS2 legal milestone prompts County Council focus

Following Royal Assent being received for HS2 Phase One last week, Staffordshire County Council has vowed to ensure that Staffordshire and its communities get the best deal from the HS2 project

The HS2 Hybrid Bill on the phase running from London to the West Midlands, which will pass through 12 miles of Staffordshire, cleared the final stages at both the House of Commons and House of Lords, which means plans for construction can start immediately.

Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for HS2, said the county council remained un-wavered in getting the best deal for Staffordshire at every stage including proper compensation, mitigating the impact on the landscape, improving connections  and sharing in the economic benefits.

 Mark said: “The Royal Assent effectively means the legal green light for plans for construction to start on Phase One of HS2. We remain absolutely committed to make sure we get the best result we can for Staffordshire and with construction now in the pipeline we will also be working hard to minimise disruption in the county on the ground every step of the way.

“In Phase One we successfully managed to get the route lowered in Lichfield area by 5 miles to significantly minimise the impact on communities and with Phase 2a around the corner the county council will continue to ensure that the voice of Staffordshire people is heard loud and clear.”

The construction of the Handsacre Link has been included in final plans and will allow people in Staffordshire, Shropshire and the Black Country to access HS2 compatible trains via a HS2 hub in Stafford leading to faster journey times to London and direct links to Birmingham Airport.

Phase 2a which covers a further 33 miles of route running from Fradley through Lichfield, Stafford and Newcastle to Crewe is at the beginning of the parliamentary process. Deposit of the Hybrid Bill is currently expected during summer 2017, with the view to getting Royal Assent in 2019.

Phase 2b from Crewe to Manchester and the Midlands to Leeds and South Yorkshire will be subject to a separate Hybrid Bill. For further information  on HS2 in Staffordshire please see www.staffordshire.gov.uk/HS2

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