More problems due to HS2
The HS2 (Crewe – Manchester) Bill for Phase 2b West received a second House of Commons reading in June and was referred to an HS2 Select Committee to hear petitions from those directly and specially affected. The Bill affects the Middlewich Branch and the Trent & Mersey canal. The plans include three viaduct crossings of the Middlewich Branch and three crossings of the Trent & Mersey canal north of Middlewich.
In each case, the canals would be subject to excessive noise unless improved mitigation is provided. Noise levels close to HS2 bridges from passing trains will be extremely high and will propagate over a wide area unless acoustic barriers are installed. Although HS2 Ltd. includes noise barriers to protect residential properties, it continues to misrepresent all canal users as ‘transitory’ and thus not included. Most crossings in rural areas are given no protection and will be subject to high noise levels.
On the Middlewich Branch, permanent moorings at Park Farm and visitor moorings at Yew Tree Farm are affected. On the Trent & Mersey canal, visitor moorings at Bramble Cuttings, moorings at Billinge Green Flash, and permanent moorings at Oakwood Marina would be particularly affected. At each canal crossing, there should be four-metre high noise barrier fencing across the viaducts and on adjacent embankments. Although Parliament failed to address this issue for Phases 1 and 2a, the same mistakes should not be repeated with Phase 2b.