HS2 & Greatworth
High Speed 2 (HS2) is the UK Government’s project to provide high-speed rail travel along the length of the country. Phase 1 is the section running from London to the West Midlands, while Phase 2 involves a “Y” configuration connecting Birmingham to Manchester and Crewe to the West and East Midlands and Leeds to the East. The high-speed trains will run over existing track to Carlisle & Glasgow and to Newcastle & Edinburgh.
The route takes the railway line close to Greatworth and there will be a construction camp just outside the village. There will be a green tunnel constructed along this section running from just east of Helmdon Road to just west of Greatworth Park.
Whilst there has been significant opposition to the project, both from communities affected and national bodies, construction is expected to commence in Spring 2019. This construction will impact Greatworth, particularly during the groundwork and building of the green tunnel.
HS2 Ltd is the company with responsibility for managing the construction of the railway. The Phase 1 route is divided into 3 sections for the civil engineering works (C1, C2 & C3) and Greatworth is in section C2. The consortium of Carillion, Eiffage and Kier (CEK) have been awarded the contract for the civil engineering work in section C2.
The Parish Council and some individuals are working hard to ensure that HS2 Ltd and the constructors (CEK) minimise the impact on Greatworth during construction of the railway. Also, we are looking to seek funding for village projects, so we can get something positive from the situation. There is a Community and Environment Fund (CEF) and Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF) where grants are available to communities affected by the construction. The funds are managed by Groundwork and guidance documents and application forms are available on their website.
Villagers are kept up to date with articles in the village newsletter – these will become more frequent as the construction gathers pace. HS2 is a standing agenda item at every full meeting of the Parish Council and some Council members attend regular Liaison Group meetings for communities due to be affected by the building of HS2 – you can find minutes of the most recent meetings of this group below:
On 18th April, 2018 representatives from HS2, Effiage/Kier and Fusion spoke at the Annual Parish Meeting. Please click here to see their presentation.
On 24th April 2019 the Council wrote a letter to Government demanding that “those with power and influence call an immediate halt to the ill-conceived project.” At the time of sending, the letter was signed by 41 of the Parish Councils and Parish Meetings affected by HS2 and since then a further twelve Parish Councils have pledged their support. This is the first time Parish Councils and Parish Meetings have come together on an issue and to receive firm support for our letter from so many has been encouraging. The signed letter was sent to Andrea Leadsom MP who has forwarded it to Theresa May PM, Chris Grayling MP, David Lidington MP and Liz Truss MP. You can see a copy of the letter and the press release here: http://stophs2.org/news/18258-41-town-parish-councils-call-immediate-halt-hs2-work.