11 April 2022

Written by

Phil Sharpe

HS2 (Crewe – Manchester) Bill

The High Speed Rail (Crewe to Manchester) Bill for HS2 Phase 2b West was deposited in January 2022, with a public consultation on the Environmental Statement to the end of March.

IWA has studied the 335 reports and map books, totalling tens of thousands of pages, for their impacts on several waterways and the changes since previous consultations. The environmental reports detail the major adverse visual, heritage and community impacts the Proposed Scheme will have on the waterways from both construction and operation of the railway.

Noise impacts

However, the noise impacts on canal users, and particularly on the residential use of boats, is not adequately assessed and the noise mitigation measures proposed are therefore inadequate for each of the affected canals.

HS2 Ltd seek to dismiss all canal users as ‘transitory’, with only short exposure to the noise from HS2. This ignores the facts that people live on their boats when underway, can moor for up to 14 days in most places, and often stay overnight on their moorings, whether these are officially residential or not.

IWA’s response concentrates on this outstanding issue of noise mitigation, and again asks that all canal crossings are provided with noise barrier fencing across viaducts and bridges, and with fencing or earth barriers on adjacent embankments.

Our response details how each of these interface locations are used for temporary, visitor and permanent moorings.

Waterways affected

The main affected locations are:

  • The Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal – 3 viaducts close together at 7 to 8 metres height, and affecting permanent moorings at Park Farm and visitor moorings at Yew Tree Farm.
  • The Trent & Mersey Canal in the Dane valley – 3 viaduct crossings (River Dane, Puddinglake Brook, Trent & Mersey Canal) at 10 to13 metres above canal water level, and affecting visitor moorings at Bramble Cuttings and permanent moorings at Oakwood Marina.
  • The Bridgewater Canal at Agden near Lymm – a viaduct 11 metres high directly above the Lymm Cruising Club moorings, which will be lost during the construction period of over 3 years.
  • The Ashton Canal and Rochdale Canal in Manchester city centre with the Main Compound for building the new HS2 Station right alongside the Ashton Canal at Ducie Street.
  • At each of the viaduct sites IWA has called for noise fencing 4 metres high for maximum protection.

Read the full response text