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New hub station proposals 'disgraceful', says Town Council leader
PROPOSALS for a new hub station to be built in Crewe have been labelled 'disgraceful' by the Town Council leader.
Cheshire East Council leader Michael Jones announced at the authority’s cabinet meeting last week that a high-speed rail link would be supported, if a new hub station was built in Crewe.
However, despite supporting HS2, Labour leader of Crewe Town Council, Clr Kevin Hickson, feels a new hub would result in the closure of Crewe’s current station.
“This proposal is disgraceful,” he said. “It would decimate the Crewe economy, and disadvantage commuters who use Crewe Station.
“I call on Clr Michael Jones to answer unambiguously the question, will the existing Crewe station continue to be used as a railway station where passengers can board trains direct to as many destinations as they do now?”
Clr Jones expressed a belief at the cabinet meeting that the existing station at Crewe would not be closed and that no routes were at risk.
The council leader feels the creation of a new hub station and track layout for Crewe, paid for by Network Rail, could accommodate a new stop for HS2.
“The consultation on the HS2 route is the right time to make this case, so we are urging the people of Cheshire East to say ‘Yes’ to HS2 and ‘Yes’ to a new hub station for Crewe,” said Clr Jones last week.
But Cheshire East Labour group leader, councillor David Newton, believes the council have misled residents about their plans.
“I am astounded that staff at the HS2 consultation event in Crewe were aware of the proposal yet none of the hundreds of people who attended were told about it,” he said.
“Only the HS2 plan published in the spring, which makes use of the existing station, was displayed.”
Clr Newton said the four-person Cheshire and Warrington Local Transport Body, who consulted on the proposal, was not answerable to the taxpayers in the borough.
“We believe the whole idea has been to submit this plan through the HS2 Consultation process and have it adopted as a local suggestion to avoid the need for further consultation with local residents,” he added.
“The managers at the HS2 Event held in Crewe were unaware that it had not been discussed locally.”
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