by John Whitehouse on 19 January, 2014
The great majority of people in Kenilworth, when asked, are totally against the whole idea of HS2. They think it’s not needed, will be a huge waste of taxpayers’ money, and will do nothing for people in this area. However, unless you live on the Eastern side of Kenilworth, many residents may feel that it won’t really affect them personally if ultimately our national politicians persist with this white elephant of a project.
My message today is – IF YOU LOVE THE KENILWORTH GREENWAY, THEN YOU ARE AFFECTED PERSONALLY, AND YOU NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
The current plans for HS2 in this area are set out in the HS2 Phase 1 Environmental Statement which is currently out for consultation. Although this document runs to a mind-blowing 55,000 pages, most of the information directly relevant to this area is contained in Volume 2: Community Forum Area Report CFA18 (http://goo.gl/3Aw0SF) and Volume 2: Map Book CFA18 (http://goo.gl/16Pdx7). I’ve provided shortened web links to the relevant documents on the HS2 Consultation web site if you copy and paste these.
On current plans, HS2 will slice through the Crackley gap between Kenilworth & Coventry, then gradually converge with the Kenilworth Greenway as it heads towards Burton Green. Just before Burton Green, the original Greenway will disappear, as HS2 goes through the village in a “cut and cover” tunnel roughly on the line of the current Greenway cutting. Beyond Burton Green the line of HS2 will gradually diverge slightly away from the line of the current Greenway, but essentially run virtually alongside it all the way to Berkswell Station. The cycle route and bridleway connecting the Greenway to the University of Warwick, usually called the Connect2 Kenilworth route, will be cut at roughly the point where the Portrait Bench is at the moment, with a big diversion loop planned to avoid the planned major diversion of the Canley Brook.
The HS2 plans for the long term diversion of the Greenway and Connect2 Kenilworth are disastrous, while their plans for “temporary” (up to 5 years) diversions during the construction of the railway are if anything even worse! The tranquility and beauty of the current routes will be lost forever if HS2 goes ahead, but the mitigation measures currently proposed are totally inadequate.
If you love the Kenilworth Greenway and the route to the University, if you are one of the many hundreds of people who use it every week, whether for commuting or leisure, then you need to RESPOND to the current HS2 Consultation and OBJECT to the current plans. The deadline for doing this has recently been extended to Monday 10 February, so there’s no excuse not to! Details of the consultation are at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/hs2-phase-one-environmental-statement
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