The creation of a North West Hub for HS2 at Crewe should be used to drive the regeneration of some of the older parts of Crewe rather than be pushed out onto a greenfield site say the Town Council.
Yesterday’s report from Sir David Higgins, Chairman of HS2 Ltd., confirmed his view that there should be a North West hub station for HS2 at Crewe to provide services to the local region as well as the rest of the North West, North Wales and Merseyside. He strongly recommended that its delivery should be brought forward to 2027. The final decision will be made by Government after the May elections.
“The Town Council welcomes HS2. We want to make sure that this once in a lifetime opportunity brings the maximum benefit in investment and jobs to the parts of Crewe that need it most. Some people are trying to turn this into a party political issue, but it is far too important to play politics with” said Kevin Hickson, the Leader of Crewe Town Council. “We would prefer to have everyone pulling together for the good of the town. Yes there are differences of view about the best approach, but surely we can have a mature discussion about them?”
“Most of the recent development activity around Crewe is on greenfield land around the edge of the town. The only major exceptions are housing on the Bombardier site, and the relocation of existing activities into the new Lifestyle Centre. We need to create an investment climate that will encourage building on vacant derelict and underused sites in the town to create jobs. The SQW Report commissioned by Cheshire East identifies 889,752 sq. m. of brownfield development land near the existing station. There are opportunities along Mill Street to create a regeneration corridor running from the Station to the Town Centre.”
“We have already shown how an HS2 Hub could be developed at the existing station by creating an additional link from the West Coast Main Line to HS2 in the Coppenhall area. With an Integrated Transport Strategy to address the traffic and public transport needs of the station area, and a well-planned regeneration programme, we could transform the area.”
“The alternative is a new station at Basford, on greenfield land south of the town. This would mean moving all the jobs at the existing station and associated businesses out of town, which will undoubtedly hit local hotels and retailers. Worse still, there would not be the catalyst for regeneration that the Hub Station could provide in the area.”
“I make no apology for putting the interests of Crewe town first. Let’s have a proper discussion about this, and let’s consult with local businesses and land owners to find the best solution for Crewe.”