Council leader to be 'bold' over HS2 station proposals

Crewe Guardian: Crewe station could close if council proposals met Crewe station could close if council proposals met

CHESHIRE East’s council leader insists he will be ‘bold’ and ‘aggressive’ with the Government regarding HS2 after his original proposals were challenged by cabinet members.

The council announced its support for HS2 on the condition a new hub station would be built at Crewe, but some feel leader Michael Jones’ proposals are not assertive enough.

At Cheshire East’s cabinet meeting on Tuesday, leader of the independent party, and councillor for Macclesfield and Tytherington, Clr Brendan Murphy, said: “We should be asserting that these proposals are absolutely essential if HS2 is to have our support and the public support.

Clr Jones said he is in regular contact with secretary of state Eric Pickles about Cheshire East’s conditions for supporting the high-speed rail link.

“We are being very bold and very aggressive,” he said.

“We are asking the Government to back our proposals to get the most out of HS2.

“I will be as forceful as I need to be with the secretary of state – we want an enhanced service and we will get an enhanced service.

“We are being as dynamic as possible to get as much as possible; we want it all and we will try and get it all.”

Crewe town councillors were shocked at Cheshire East’s decision to support a new station, including a Park and Ride site north of Weston.

Clr Kevin Hickson believes Crewe residents should be consulted before any decision, and is committed to investing in revamping the current station.

“The scheme would disadvantage Crewe residents,” he said.

“The current improvements to Crewe Station would be for nothing.

“It is vital to the future prosperity of the town that we continue to have a major rail interchange in the heart of the community.”

The chairman of Crewe Town Council economic development committee, Tony Davison, added: “Crewe Town Council is a strong supporter of HS2. It is vital that the benefits this major project will bring to Crewe are maximised for the benefit of the town. “A closure of Crewe station was never envisaged in the HS2 proposals, and anything that diminishes the impact of HS2 for the town or delays implementation will be resisted by the town council.”

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