Erewash MP Maggie Throup says she has been reassured by the Secretary of State for Transport that residents affected by HS2 plans will not be left out of pocket as a result of the major project.
The Government confirmed yesterday that the railway line will be carried over Long Eaton by a high-level viaduct and that a new station serving HS2 would be built in nearby Toton.
The station is intended to serve both the Derby and Nottingham areas and will see new rapid services linking the region to Yorkshire, Birmingham and London.
Following the confirmation of the route, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling made a statement to MPs in the House of Commons. In response Mrs Throup asked him whether he agreed that nobody should be worse off as a result of the plans.
She said: “Although I welcome the clarity that the announcement brings to residents of Long Eaton, Sandiacre and Stanton Gate in my constituency, and the extension of the rural zone to the south of Long Eaton, some of my constituents who have lived in their homes for 40 years or more are being offered only two thirds of the value of their homes and cannot afford to buy another home.
“As HS2 will be of great benefit to the whole nation, does my Right Hon Friend agree that nobody should be worse off as a result of it?.”
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Mr Grayling replied: “I do agree, and I am very grateful to my Hon Friend and to the people of Long Eaton; as she knows, we have had a long discussion about whether we should have a high-level embankment or a low-level one, and I hope the solution we have reached is one that her community will support.
“I am clear that I do not want people to lose out as a result of this, and I extend to the House the request that Members should come to tell me if there are any places where there is a danger of that happening.”
Afterwards, Mrs Throup said she she was pleased with Mr Grayling’s response. She added: “I understand that HS2 splits opinion in our area, with some residents wanting the project to be dropped completely. However we have to accept that HS2 is going ahead, and it is my job as the Member of Parliament to fight for the best possible deal from HS2 Ltd for local residents who are affected by the line of route in Long Eaton, Sandiacre and Stanton Gate.
“I am pleased therefore, that the Transport Secretary has given his personal assurance on public record that he does not want people to lose out as a result of this vital national infrastructure project.”
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Rebecca Bestwick, of Sawley, owns a house in East Street, Long Eaton, which is just 60m away from the line.
The 37-year-old told the Nottingham Post: “I don’t particularly oppose it, but I do think that the residents – home owners – should be compensated.
“They can’t tell me that the property value is going to be unblighted there. I invested my money in that house for my son’s future and everything I’ve worked for is going to depreciate now.”
Residents were consulted about the proposals last year and a number of concerns were raised, including the potential noise and visual impacts of the HS2 network on the community, while others expressed concerns about the negative impact the proposals could have on property prices.
Following yesterday’s announcement, Long Eaton and Sawley Labour Party said the decision would “blight” the town and nearby Sandiacre, as well as cause increased traffic congestion, dust and destroy the environment.
However, councillor Jon Collins, vice chair of East Midlands Councils and chair of the East Midlands HS2 Strategic Board, says HS2 will mean “more and better jobs for local people, less overcrowded trains and much quicker journey times to key destinations”.
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Councillor Simon Spencer, Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for Highways Transport and Infrastructure added: “Government’s plans and intentions are now clear which should help us have a more open dialogue with HS2.
“We believe the best deal for Derbyshire residents will be achieved by working with the Government to maximise the economic benefits and minimise the adverse impacts of the scheme.
“Derbyshire has much to gain from HS2. It will bring more jobs to the county – including during the construction phase with opportunities for local businesses to join the supply chain, and jobs created at the new maintenance depot to be built at Staveley.
“It also brings massive potential for Derbyshire’s tourism industry with passengers able to travel between London Euston and Chesterfield in just over an hour.
“But while we welcome the economic benefits of HS2 we realise it won’t be good news for everyone and we’ll continue to push for the best deal for Derbyshire residents, businesses and others along the route to reduce any harmful effects as much as possible.”
The proposed Toton station design includes four high speed platforms, and four platforms for conventional services allowing connections to Nottingham, Leicester and Derby. There will also be two fast lines through the middle of the station for non-stopping services.
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It is expected the new station will bring faster journey times from Derby to other cities.
Previously HS2 Ltd, the company responsible for delivering the scheme, estimated Derby to Leeds would be 50 minutes on average via HS2, down from 77 minutes using the fastest existing routes. Derby to York would be 57 minutes, down from 86 minutes. Derby to Newcastle would be 126 minutes, down from 150 minutes. Derby to Heathrow would be 86 minutes, down from 151 minutes.
HS2 also previously said it expected a 20-minute saving for Derby to central London.
Phase 1 of HS2 is due to open in December 2026 and will see trains travel between London and Birmingham, before running on from Birmingham on the existing West Coast Main Line.
Phase 2 has two separate parts. Phase 2a from the West Midlands to Crewe will launch in 2027. And phase 2b – from Crewe to Manchester, and also from the West Midlands to Leeds, South Yorkshire and the East Midlands – will open in 2033. This last bit is the section coming through parts of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.
Source: Derby Telegraph