Campaigners battling to thwart the proposed route of Britain’s second high speed railway through Staffordshire are celebrating after it emerged planners had rejected part of the route that threatened to blight their homes.
It comes after Tamworth MP Christopher Pincher revealed HS2 engineers have confirmed that Hopwas Ridge is not an option.
Mr Pincher said he had “received word” from senior HS2 engineers the potential route that would take the line onto the outskirts of Mile Oak and Hopwas and along the edge of Whittington had been rejected by its planning team.
It is understood that HS2 engineers have now gone back to the drawing board after saying a route near to Mile Oak and Hopwas would fail on noise pollution and other grounds, such as the impact on local communities.
It comes after more than 4,000 local residents wrote letters and emails to Transport Secretary Philip Hammond MP voicing their objections.
Mr Pincher said: “Clearly this route is not acceptable and both Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant and I made that clear to HS2 and to the Secretary of State. HS2 have now said they will not pursue the proposal to route the railway right past Mile Oak and Hopwas.
“We also made it clear that the original Adonis route is also unfair and unacceptable. We now wait to see what proposal they come up with. They need to think again.”
But it’s still not clear how Lichfield will fair in the review of the controversial route and Lichfield Action Group is urging residents to continue to write to Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant, the Prime Minister and West Midlands MEP Liz Lynne to express their opposition ahead of the expected announcement of the preferred route for HS2 later this month.
While the group is “hopeful” the revised route will stop the creation of a 685metre viaduct over the A38, Britannia Industrial Estate and Streethay, it fears HS2 could still bring misery to the city and surrounding villages.