Councils’ HS2 petition heard in Parliament

 

Stone Town Council and Chebsey Parish Councils’ HS2 Railhead petition was discussed at the April 25th sitting of the HS2 Parliamentary Select Committee in London.

The two councils have employed Stone Railhead Crisis Group (SRCG) to argue their case for relocating the Railhead from Yarnfield Lane to Aldersey’s Rough near the M6 Keele Services.

SRCG has been campaigning for the re-location since 2016. Gridlock caused by constructing the Railhead near stone would have a devastating effect on the  residents and businesses of Stone, Walton, Yarnfield, Cold Norton, Swynnerton and surrounding areas, they argue.

Because SRCG’s evidence was so complex, they were given a whole day to put their case. SRCG’s volunteer team of Trevor Parkin (Environmental Projects), Gordon Wilkinson (Road Transport) and Trevor Gould (Rail) were supported a barrister, Mr Timothy Corner, QC.

Mr Corner’s services are being paid for through SRCG’s fundraising and their employment by Stone Town Council to deliver the petition, which together has raised over £16,000.

SRCG’s witnesses told the Select Committee how damaging the Stone Railhead would be to Stone and surrounding villages. They also gave evidence that SRCG’s Aldersey’s Rough alternative site could pave the way to new local train services and a boost to North Staffordshire’s economy.

SRCG’s volunteer legal adviser John Fraser said:

“Our three witnesses performed brilliantly and made a really good impression on the Select Committee. We came away from the hearing knowing  we had done our best and could not have done more to promote our case.”

SRCG’s appearance in the Committee’s two sessions on April 25th can be viewed online at

https://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/abd049ae-f65a-4c85-943f-cfa02157b858

 

No date has been given for the announcement of the Select Committee’s decision, although the team are hopeful that a decision will be made in within the next few weeks.

“This does not mark the end of the challenge for the Councils and the SRCG,”

Mr Fraser continued.

“Even if the Select Committee agrees with the Councils’ petition there will still be a lot of work to monitor the HS2 construction work in the area.”

 

Anyone wanting to support the campaign to move the railhead can do can either make an online donation at https://stonerailhead.org/crowdfunding, pay in a cheque made out to SRCG to the Hanley Building Society in Stone or post a cheque to Yarnfield Village Hall, Stone, ST15 ONJ. The envelope should be marked for the attention of SRCG.