The decision to pause the start of construction of Phase 2A of the line from Fradley to Crewe, for at least two years, is extremely disappointing for Staffordshire. HS2 is Europe’s largest construction project, and we want to ensure that Staffordshire businesses capitalise on any procurement opportunities, and we have the appropriate resources to upskill the local workforce, i.e. apprenticeships etc.
We have written to Chancellor and Secretary of State for Transport to call for commitment to ensure that any delay to the start of Phase 2A is not allowed to drift indefinitely.
We have called for clarity around the timetabling of HS2 services. The arrival of HS2 links with some exciting regeneration initiatives taking place across our county. Stafford Station Gateway will transform 27 hectares of brownfield land to the west of Stafford Station, with the potential to deliver high quality, low-carbon homes, grade A office space, a new hotel, retail and leisure space. The Goods Yard near Stoke-on-Trent Station is well underway with 174 design-led apartments for rent, with a mix of 1,2 and 3-bed homes, transformation of the signal box into a café-bar and a contemporary building with a raw industrial feel providing 5,000sq.ft. of workspace.
HS2 CEO Mark Thurston, was guest speaker at our Patrons’ Lunch in May. We spent time discussing our concerns about the pause in constructing Phase 2A of HS2 and were pleased to hear that he is keen for this stretch to be completed at the earliest opportunity.