A COUNCILLOR has expressed regret over the cancellation of the HS2 railway project - but said she views the Government's dedication to road repairs as a significant positive development.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, who represents Audlem on Cheshire East Council, acknowledged the numerous advantages of the new high-speed line but is now open to exploring other options.

It comes after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced earlier today that the Government would be abandoning the idea of extending HS2 to Manchester.

According to the proposed route, the centre of Audlem would have been within seven miles of the high-speed railway.


Cllr Bailey said: “As an advocate to the benefits of an upgraded Crewe HS2 Hub Station with its 360-degree connectivity, I was sorry to hear the Prime Minister announce that high-speed rail works will now terminate at Birmingham.

“That said, I believe it is important to first await the details of how monies will be reallocated, in particular, how our local area will benefit and likely delivery timescales.

“A real positive was to hear the commitment to ‘repair our roads’; a reduction in potholes is something which I believe we would all welcome.”

In Phase 2B, HS2 was initially planned to pass through Crewe Railway Station and subsequently connect to Manchester, with an anticipated opening date around 2030.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed that land previously designated for the now-cancelled HS2 routes will not be retained for potential future expansion of the high-speed railway.

This decision marks the removal of safeguarding measures, which had protected the land against conflicting developments.

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Furthermore, the land acquisition program for Phase 2a, between the West Midlands and Crewe, will be immediately halted.

HS2 will no longer accept new applications under existing schemes from property owners in areas where safeguarding will be lifted.

Any property no longer required for HS2 will be sold, and a corresponding program is currently in development for this purpose.

In its place, the Government has confirmed a series of transport projects which will benefit from funding.