Wakefield Council to make decision over HS2 rail network

HS2 at Aire and Calder Navigation.'Artists impression by HS2 Ltd.
HS2 at Aire and Calder Navigation.'Artists impression by HS2 Ltd.
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Wakefield Council will consider whether to support or oppose plans for a high-speed rail network when cabinet members meet on Tuesday.

A report to the meeting recommended that council leader Coun Peter Box gives a “detailed” response to the government on its plans for HS2, before the end of January.

The cabinet committee will be asked to look at the possible environmental impacts of HS2’s route, which would take thundering 250mph trains just metres from Charles Waterton’s grave at Walton Hall.

It will also consider the potential benefits of a rolling stock depot being built at Crofton, providing 150 jobs.

The report said HS2 would have a “significant” impact on the environment.

It said: “The preferred line passes through open countryside, very close to Cold Hiendley Reservoir, Wintersett Reservoir, Anglers Country Park, Walton Country Park, and west of Walton.

“There will be no station stop for HS2 in the district – the only two stations in Yorkshire proposed are at Meadowhall and Leeds.

“One of the arguments being put forward by HS2 for the investment is that it will create jobs.”

HS2 would be able to get passengers from Leeds to London in 82 minutes.

But Coun Box spoke out against the new network earlier this year, claiming costs of up to £160m per mile could be better spent on new facilities or fixing potholes.

And since then the total estimated cost of the network has increased from £33bn to about £50bn.

Councillors will debate the issue at a meeting of full council on Wednesday, November 13 before a formal response is given.