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Call to use disused Shropshire rail line for HS2 traffic to save village roads

By James Pugh | North Shropshire | Transport | Published:

A disused railway line has been put forward as an alternative route for HS2 constructive traffic to avoid going through a Shropshire village.

Anti-HS2 protesters in Woore

Woore Parish Council has submitted a series of other routes that the construction traffic building the high speed railway line could take.

The current proposed route would see about 500 HGVs travel from the A51 and turn onto the A525 at Woore, near Market Drayton daily.

Residents and councillors have formed an action group to fight the plans.

One of the alternative routes put forward by the parish council include using the disused Market Drayton railway line to provide access for construction vehicles to the route of the proposed scheme.

It is believed the line served the Shropshire town between 1863 and 1963.

It was at the junction where three railway lines met – two of them, forming the Great Western Railway route between Wellington and Crewe, were met by a line from Stoke-on-Trent on the North Staffordshire Railway.

Some of the track still exists but has been turned into a cycle track or is overgrown.

Another possible idea parish councillors and residents have put forward is to use Keele services as a dedicated access point for the construction works in the Whitmore Heath to Madeley area.

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They say a dedicated lane could be created at the rear of the services to provide access to Three Mile Lane, thereby creating access to the route of the proposed scheme.

A statement from Woore Parish Council says: “There are alternatives which would stop the need to route construction traffic through our parish.

“One includes the construction of a continuous tunnel from Whitmore Heath to beyond Madeley.

“Another would be the construction of a railway siding away from Bar Hill / Madeley and the relocation of the proposed location for the Bar Hill compound so that excavated materials from tunnelling and the tunnel boring machine can be moved via the West Coast Mainline.

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“And another would be abandoning the construction of any tunnels in the Whitmore Heath to Madeley area and placing the railway line in a cutting.

“We have not seen any evidence that the merits and demerits, including the costs, of such alternatives have been weighed against the merits and demerits of choosing our parish as the route for construction traffic.

“In the absence of such evidence, no one is in a position to understand why routing construction traffic through our parish, which hitherto had been the non-preferred option, has become the preferred one.”

James Pugh

By James Pugh
@JamesP_Star

Chief reporter at the Shropshire Star covering north Shropshire based at the head office in Ketley.

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