RESIDENTS are being urged to get involved in the public consultation over the route for the High Speed Two, HS2, rail route.
Cheshire East Council wants people to have their say and let the Government know what they think about the high speed rail route from the West Midlands to Manchester, Leeds and beyond.
The route preferred by the Department for Transport follows the West Coast main line via Crewe before passing to the west of Middlewich and through the High Legh area before splitting, with a line going over the M56 to Manchester Airport.
This affects various villages and homes as well as farms and business premises in Cheshire East and while Cheshire East Council supports the economic impact of HS2 for the borough, especially in Crewe, it also wants to keep all environmental impacts to a minimum.
The council welcomes the economic benefits any scheme could bring and is pushing for a dedicated HS2 rail hub station in Crewe but many residents have voiced serious concerns over potential impact on their quality of life, house prices and the future viability of farms and other businesses.
Clr Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “This council has been listening carefully to everybody’s concerns on HS2 since the preferred route was announced in January and now it is time to put your views directly to the Government.
“We will also be responding robustly to this consultation and will be representing our residents concerns in the strongest terms to HS2 Ltd.
“HS2 presents great benefits to this area such as increased connectivity with the rest of the country, faster travel times and more jobs but we do know our residents face uncertainty as a result of this proposal and also from any disruption and environmental impacts from construction.
“So I would urge people to get involved in this consultation and to make their representations directly to HS2 Ltd.”
The Government is expected to make an announcement about the route at the end of next year as well as make a decision about stations and depot options.
Consultation documents are available at www.hs2.org.uk and reference copies can be viewed at libraries across the borough.
The consultation closes on January 31, 2014 and information events will be held at Victoria Community Centre on West Street in Crewe on Friday, November 8 and Saturday, November 9, and at Tatton Park in Knutsford on Friday, December 6 and Saturday, December 7.