POLITICAL leaders in Knutsford believe HS2 is ‘fantastic’ news for the town’s residents.

The north west HS2 route will go from Crewe, before heading east past Lach Dennis and Plumley and then following the proposed A556 bypass route through Tabley and Mere.

It will then follow the M56, passing Rostherne, before stopping at a new hub at Manchester Airport and then in the centre of Manchester.

Tatton MP George Osborne has admitted the £33bn project is expensive and would take many years, but said it would create ‘tens of thousands of jobs’.

He added the compensation scheme for those affected would be greater than it has been for motorway schemes in the past.

And Clr Michael Jones, Cheshire East Council leader, added he had fought hard to make sure the route didn’t affect Knutsford after rumours it was going to head under Tatton Park.

“This is great news for Cheshire East and for Crewe in particular,” he said.

“HS2 consolidates Cheshire East at the most connected area in the UK.

“I have fought hard to keep the line away from Knutsford and Tatton, which we have been successful in achieving.

“Throughout the process we raised concerns about the line of route and raised the profile for a common sense solution, which I believe we have achieved.

“High Speed 2 is fantastic news for most of our residents.”

With the new rail line following the route of the proposed A556 bypass, a spokesperson for the Highways Agency has ruled out HS2 affecting its plans.

“We do not anticipate that the proposed route for a new high speed rail line would have an impact on the proposed new route of the A556, as the train line would run to the west of the road,” he said.

“However, the route of the proposed new rail line would cross the A556 where it meets Junction 8 of the M56. We will naturally work closely with the Department for Transport to minimise any potential impact HS2 will have on motorways and major A roads across the country.”

The Government has started a three month consultation on its proposals to take HS2 from Birmingham to Manchester and this will end on the April 29.