Canals to get better protection from HS2
- Credit: Archant
Following representations made in Parliament by waterways interests, plans for Phase 1 of the HS2 high speed railway have been amended to include increased protection for canals.
A co-ordinated response during the Select Committee stage of the HS2 Bill’s passage through Parliament saw the Canal & River Trust, Inland Waterways Association and local canal societies combine their efforts to try to secure further improvements to the route. Following their representations, the Select Committee report has confirmed that there will be improved design and alignment of bridge crossings (including the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal crossing at Curdworth and the viaduct crossing the Grand Union west of London), plus a general “presumption that the perspective of canal users will be strongly taken into account in the design of infrastructure.”
IWA’s Gren Messham, who represented the Association at the select committee hearing, said that although there wasn’t the level of assurance they’d been looking for on noise mitigation measures, IWA was “pleased to see the assurances that canals and boaters are to be protected a several locations specifically from the impact of HS2”, while CRT Chief Executive Richard Parry said the report showed “a recognition of the importance of high quality design around historic waterways”, which he felt was a good precedent for future phases of HS2