CHESHIRE East’s leader has called for natural screening and structure restrictions to mitigate the visual impact of HS2 Phase Two.

The Government is urging residents to have their say during the proposed £42 billion railway line’s official consultation period, which runs until January 31, 2014 at

The consultation was launched on July 17 alongside an Exceptional Hardship Scheme (EHS) aimed at compensating parties affected by the railway line’s impact on housing prices.

Cheshire East Council (CEC) discussed HS2 Phase Two during their cabinet meeting last week, during which the idea of tunnelling HS2 beneath the entire length of the borough was raised.

In a later statement, clr Michael Jones, leader of CEC, said: “It is not a good idea to tunnel underneath the entire Cheshire plain. What is clear is that we need to mitigate any negative impacts of blight from HS2.

“In doing so, we are pushing for reduced height to structures, dropping the line into deeper cuttings in the ground and also natural screenings which would ensure that visual impacts are kept to a minimum.

“We are also considering what noise-reducing features could be used by HS2 Ltd. We are listening to local concerns and taking them directly to HS2.”

Announcing the consultation, Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, described HS2 as a ‘vital part’ of Britain’s future infrastructure.

“Its scope to transform this country is enormous. The delivery of a state-of-the-art, safe, reliable high speed network will not only better serve our great cities but will return Britain to the forefront of engineering and construction,” he added.

Reference copies of the HS2 consultation are available at Crewe Library, Prince Albert Street and Crewe, Citizens Advice Bureau, Victoria Street.

As part of the consultation there will be two information events at Crewe Victoria Community Centre, CW1 2PZ on November 8 between 12noon-8pm and November 9 between 10am-5pm.

Crewe and HS2 CREWE will not get a new station along the High Speed Two (HS2) network, but will be served by 225 mph trains via a connection to the existing West Coast Main Line (WCML).

The HS2 line itself splits into a Y shaped network to Manchester and Leeds north of Birmingham, bypassing Crewe in a tunnel under the WCML.

A junction at Basford will enable HS2 trains to continue north through Crewe railway station and on to serve Liverpool via existing rail lines.

Crewe will host new depots for infrastructure and maintenance equipment using the western spur of railway, creating more than 300 jobs.

HS2 Stats from the consultation document: Long distance rail travel has doubled since 1998 according the Office of Rail Regulation.

Between Manchester and Euston, there was a 70 per cent rise between 1999-2009.

The report says that HS2 will return £2 for every £1 invested Trains 400 metres long will be able to leave three minutes apart, carrying up to 1,100. The railway will be able to move 800,000 people every day – roughly the population of Leeds.

The report concludes that ‘no upgrades to the existing line can offer the step change in passenger capacity required to meet long term demand and which HS2 will provide’.

What are your thoughts on HS2? Email or write to Guardian Series Newspapers, Theatre Court, Northwich, Cheshire, CW9 5HB