We have secured an agreement with High Speed 2 which will significantly reduce the impact of the rail line on the Trent & Mersey Canal at Fradley Junction.
Under HS2’s proposals, a permanent access road would have been built adjacent to the Trent & Mersey Canal at Pyford Brook, in the popular Fradley Junction area.
Following extensive negotiations, HS2 has agreed to introduce an ‘Additional Provision’ to address our concerns. HS2’s access road will be rerouted to radically reduce the visual and aural impact on boaters and canal visitors in the area.
We have also reached agreement with HS2 on minimising the impact of construction works in the area. This includes reducing the impact of works on the canal towpath and minimising canal closures, especially during peak seasons, to facilitate works.
Peter Walker, head of technical support at the Canal & River Trust, said: "The Fradley Junction area, where the Coventry Canal joins the Trent & Mersey Canal, is one of the busiest and most vibrant places on the waterways.
"We’re pleased that our extensive negotiations with HS2 have produced an agreement on protecting the canal and, as such, we have been able to withdraw our petition against the High Speed Rail (West Midlands – Crewe) Bill.
"We’re not against HS2, but it’s really important that the impact on the canal network is minimised and that is what we have been able to achieve."
Separately, we will work with HS2 and other interested parties through the newly-created Sow Parklands & Cannock Chase AONB Landscape Group to address the design of the Great Haywood viaduct.
Peter Walker comments: "A HS2 viaduct will cross the Trent Valley at Great Haywood. This is going to be a critical interface which will have an impact on this historic landscape.
"The design of this viaduct will have to be sympathetic to the local area, minimising the visual and physical impact on the canal.
"We’re looking forward to working with HS2 through the new Group to ensure the design of this viaduct will reflect the historic landscape that it will pass through."
Speaking about future phases of HS2 Peter Walker continued: "The Trust will continue to engage with HS2 over the coming months and years to protect the interests of the waterways, not least on Phase 2b, covering Crewe to Manchester and the West Midlands to Leeds."