Victorious villagers stop HS2 in its tracks

Campaign: Protesters have battled against a depot in Crofton.
Campaign: Protesters have battled against a depot in Crofton.

Campaigners battling against HS2 marked a victory as it was announced a major depot on the route will not be built in our district.

The planned depot in Crofton, which would have maintained and serviced trains for the planned HS2 route, is now to be built at a logistic and manufacturing park in Rothwell, the government has confirmed.

Jonathan Pile, chairman of the Crofton Against HS2 campaign group said it was “a day of humiliation” for the HS2 project.

He said: “Once again they have got it wrong. We say to the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling ‘well done’ but now listen to us about the route. It makes no sense to send it through Crofton

“The only reason it was going through the village was to go through the depot, which we now know will not be built here.

“We are saying to Mr Grayling ‘please meet with us and please move the route to a lower impact route nearer the M1.

“Crofton has stopped HS2 in its tracks and we now want to see the whole project cancelled and the money reinvested in railways in the north of England.”

Charles Elliott, another member of the campaign group, said: “We are delighted. HS2 was a double whammy for Crofton – in the line itself running through and the horrendous depot, but I am so pleased that the depot will now not be in our village.”

The HS2 rolling stock depot now planned for east of Leeds will allow 24-hour maintenance of the high speed trains running from London to Manchester and Yorkshire and create 125 skilled jobs, Department for Transport officials say.

A consultation was launched when it emerged that the high-speed line would pass to the east of Crofton, rather than the west, and “appeared likely to have a greater impact on the local community”.

Officials say the new location will reduce the site’s environmental impact by cutting the distance empty trains travel for overnight stabling.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “Constructing this vital depot in Leeds underlines how the benefits of HS2 drive prosperity right across the UK, with Yorkshire playing a crucial role in maintaining the new high speed trains and delivering significantly better journeys for passengers.”