THERE is a consultation about the Government's preferred route through South Yorkshire for the proposed new High Speed Railway line, HS2, which closes on 9th March 2017, and affects the Chesterfield Canal.
The Chesterfield Canal Trust is asking for as many people as possible to respond to the consultation to support this route. The reason is that it will do far less damage to the restoration plans for the canal than the original route.
Crosses once rather than on top
The Government announced in November that its preferred route for HS2 is the one proposed last July. This route crosses the canal once, at Norwood, rather than lying on top of it for 2km, at Renishaw and Spinkhill, as was the case in the original 2013 route.
The line to the proposed Infrastructure Maintenance Depot at Staveley crosses the canal just once, rather than three times as was the case in the 2013 route. Information about the consultation can be found on the Chesterfield Canal Trust's website.
The purple line on the map is the new proposed route.
Affects the canal
In the official Response Form, there are nine questions. The question that affects the canal is Question 7.
'The Secretary of State is minded to move the alignment of the route between Derbyshire and West Yorkshire to reflect a change in the proposals for serving Sheffield. Do you support the proposal to amend the route to serve South and West Yorkshire? Please indicate whether or not you support the proposal together with your reasons'.
The Trust is asking supporters to respond to this question by saying that they support the Government's preferred route because it does less damage to the Chesterfield Canal's restoration route than the original proposal.
Respondents may fill in answers to other questions, or leave everything else blank.
Email or write
The Trust's website has links to HS2's official online response form. Alternatively, you can email your response to
, or you can write to FREEPOST HS2 PHASE 2B ROUTE REFINEMENT CONSULTATION.
In the previous consultation in 2013/4, the Chesterfield Canal was mentioned in more responses than any other entity. The Chesterfield Canal Trust hopes to get a similar level of support this time.
There are HS2 consultation events in January and February right along the proposed line. The ones closest to the canal are in Staveley on 3rd February; at Bolsover on 4th February; and Aston on 8th February. Again the Trust would welcome a good turnout of its supporters.