Stone Railhead Crisis Group Public Meeting

Stone Railhead Crisis GroupThe HS2 railhead opposition group, Stone Railhead Crisis Group (SRCG), is inviting members of the public to a meeting at Yarnfield Park Conference Centre on at 5:00pm on Sunday 18th February 2018.

Items on the meeting agenda are:

  • Update on discussions with HS2 Ltd, including its formal response to SRCG’s proposal to re-site the HS2 Railhead and permanent infrastructure maintenance base to from Stone to Aldersey’s Rough (near the M6 Keele Services)
  • Implication of the January 30th Second Reading of the Phase 2a HS2 Hybrid Bill for Stone area residents
  • SRCG’s proposals for the forthcoming Phase 2a Hybrid Bill petitioning process
  • AGM proceedings
  • Next steps

The group are encouraging as many people as possible to attend the meeting to demonstrate the determination to get the best outcomes for our area.

Stone Railhead Crisis Group AGM




  1. The Stone Railhead Crisis Group, or more correctly the Yarnfield Railhead Crisis Group has, this week, received a grant of £4000 from Stone Town Council to pursue its discredited proposal to re-locate the railhead to Keele/Madeley. The proposal is discredited, for its sheer lack of railway engineering science pitted against the engineers and consulting engineers who considered and then rejected the Keele/Madeley site. The existence of the Madeley tunnel seems to have escaped this group’s attention. Some properties in Yarnfield will be adversely affected, and of course compensated, and there will be HGV traffic along Yarnfield Lane, not, as has been claimed, along Eccleshall Road, during the initial build – thereafter the site will be rail supplied or by a dedicated spur off the M6. So there is some cost, but what of the benefits to Stone. At a time of uncertainty in employment, the site will, for three years, offer 500 well-paid jobs (not warehouse distribution minimum wage jobs, note) and thereafter 350 well paid permanent jobs and also apprentice opportunities for Stone’s 16 – 18 year olds. How sensible are the town’s Independent Councillors in spurning this and using Council Tax payers monies to do so. And how long before this chorus provokes a Keele Railhead Crisis Group into existence?

    1. Like to know where this 4000k came from and will it have any impact on services for Stone. Would the “little bit of stone ” like to check this

  2. Thank you for the support Stephen, I delivered the last lot of SRCG leaflets last Saturday and it’s obvious that many Stone residents still have no idea of the dreadful effect the Railhead will have on our town. To petition against this we need to have sufficient funds to go to London before the select committee and I believe we have a very good chance to stop it. If you can spare just a couple of pounds or even more then please pop along to the Hanley Economic Building society ( by Subway ) in Stone there is an account you can pay into. It’s so easy, I realise that times are hard for everyone but this will impact on our town and we must stop it so please help us reach the £15,000 we need.

  3. We attended the meeting and a request was put forward by Jill Hood to send to interested parties a copy of the presentation which was very well presented.
    Can you email the detail as up to the Q7A session.


  4. I attended this meeting on February 18th. The action group gave an update on their discussions with the HS2 project team and provided information on various new analyses they had prepared. As regards the former, the HS2 project team have produced an analysis which in their minds justifies the proposed Stone Railhead over the alternative offered. All of the reasons seems weak; for example they believe that a difference of 4km in the siting of the railhead on a length of track from Birmingham to Manchester is significant! As regards the latter it seems even more evident now that siting the railhead near Yarnfield as proposed currently by the HS2 project team will have a significant social, economic and environmental impact on Yarnfield, Stone and surrounding areas. During the construction phase of the railhead and the HS2 infrastructure there will be significant disruption to our locality. Modelling of traffic flows taking into account the HGV’s that will converge on the site, initially via the A34 onto Yarnfield lane – which all know is a junction and lane eminently suited to HGV movements – shows effective gridlock at Walton Island, Stone Business Park Island and Yarnfield Lane. Don’t forget that the thousand or so per day extra HGV trips forecast by the HS2 project team will produce significant amounts of NOX emissions, with lorries sitting in the gridlock they have caused polluting our locality. The currently approved housing developments on the Eccleshall Road at Stone will add to the congestion, as will the JRL vehicle storage facility at the Stone Business Park.It will not be a good time to be a driver and/or pedestrian at rush hour peak.
    The M6 will be closed totally or partially on a significant number of occasions, leading to more congestion on the A34 and associated short cuts. At the same time, the Highways Agency will be installing smart motorways on the M6 between J13 and J15. Motorists will try to find a way around the congestion – any “rat run” they saves a bit of time will be used.If the railhead is sited at Yarnfield we can expect to have five/six years of a gridlocked road network. After all the construction is finished disruption will continue as the rail head becomes a maintenance facility for HS2 rolling stock and infrastructure.
    The SRCG (Stone Railhead Crisis Group) has developed an alternative location for this rail head based at Aldersey’s Rough, near Keele M6 services This location takes into account existing rail and motorway access and makes much sense than the proposed Yarnfield site and has the potential to provide rail links from Newcastle under Lyme to Crewe, Chester,Liverpool and Manchester Airport whilst also providing the opportunity for rail services to be restored to places such as Keele and Madeley. The proposed Stone Railhead will provide no benefits to the rail commuter. Quite the converse; HS2 movements during construction and operation will inevitably negatively impinge on current rail timetables.
    At the moment Stafford Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council DO NOT support the SRCG – they seem bewitched by the idea of Stafford and Stoke on Trent having a link to HS2. They do not seem at all concerned by the awful impact the proposed Stone Railhead and subsequent maintenance yard will have on the locality. It was very telling that whilst independent Stone Town councillors attended this meeting (I do not know if other non independent Town councillors were present but if so they kept a low profile) and support the SRCG, only ONE borough/county councillor attended. Presumably the remainder were otherwise engaged or do not support the community and the SRCG in this matter.
    It is important to note that the SRCG is not trying to stop HS2. No matter where the rail head is situated HS2 will go ahead and any attendant benefits will flow to the area. It is worth restating this; the SRCG is not about stopping HS2 but rather ensuring it does not needlessly impact on our locality.
    I share the view of the SRCG and many other local residents that the proposed Stone railhead will be extremely damaging to our area and cost more/produce significantly fewer benefits that the alternative proposed by the SRCG. Let’s not forget that HS2 is being paid for by all of us – the HS2 project team must make sure that costs are minimised and benefits maximised. In the case of the proposed Stone Railhead the converse applies.
    The SRCG will be “petitioning” a parliamentary select committee very soon. This means presenting their arguments before a small group of MP’s. They need financial support to engage expert counsel and they need support from us all by engaging with this issue and demanding that the councillors we elect wake up to this problem and give their support as well.

    The website of the SRCG is shown in the above news article.

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