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Protecting the waterways from the worst of HS2

Waterways affected by HS2
Campaign

We’re campaigning to protect canals and rivers from the damaging effects of HS2, especially where the tranquillity of the waterways is under threat.

Our HS2 route changes have already reduced waterways crossings – saving the project £50 million – and we have secured agreement for a new canal restoration route, a new mooring basin, changes in viaduct designs and improved noise protection.

HS2 waterway current campaign areas

We still have major concerns about:

HS2 waterway campaign successes

So far, we have persuaded the HS2 project to:

  • change the route of the Handsacre Link spur near Lichfield to avoid two crossings of the Trent & Mersey Canal which would have seriously damaged the environment, tranquillity and heritage of the canal around Woodend Lock above Fradley Junction
  • build a canal diversion and fund a replacement moorings basin at Cappers Lane in Lichfield when the bridge there is demolished for an HS2 viaduct
  • lower the height of the viaducts around Kings Bromley
  • add more noise fencing at Fradley and Great Haywood
  • improve the design of the viaduct over the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal at Curdworth
  • fund environmental enhancement works at Great Haywood
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How you can help

We have been campaigning against the worst effects of HS2 for over a decade. The huge achievements of our HS2 campaign are down to our dedicated expert volunteers, who have given evidence to parliamentary select committees, met HS2 engineers and liaised with construction contractors.

Support us or – if you think you might be able to help with the detailed analysis and consultation responses – we would love to hear from you at hs2@waterways.org.uk

Latest consultation responses

HS2 Phase 2b (2020)

IWA's Response to the HS2 Phase 2b Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North Consultation

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HS2 Phase 2B Design Refinement Consultation Response (2019)

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Phase 1

Construction started

Phase 1 of HS2 will link London to Birmingham.

Fradley Junction’s precious heritage was protected through our campaigning.

Phase 2a

Ongoing concerns

Phase 2a runs from Lichfield to Crewe.

We still have concerns about the Handsacre Link and the impact on the Trent & Mersey Canal.

Phase 2b

waterways at risk

Phase 2b is in two parts; west from Crewe to Manchester and east from Lichfield to Leeds. Parts of this have now been scrapped in favour of upgrading existing lines but a number of waterways remain under threat.

After a decade-long campaign, we will continue to engage with all the HS2 public consultations and work for better protection for the precious environment of our navigable and restorable waterways.

Phil Sharpe, IWA HS2 lead

HS2 News

Locations at risk from HS2 Phase 2B

HS2 Campaigns

Boats cruising in Handsacre on the Trent & Mersey Canal
a family walking alongside a canal
A moored boat near bridge 88 near Fradley Junction on the Coventry Canal
Clayton Le Moors, Leeds & Liverpool Canal by Pauline McGill
Barton Swingbridge crosses the Manchester Ship Canal - Graham and Marilyn Speechley - 2004
Bridge 25, Middlewich Branch

Campaign updates

Greener boating

We are campaigning for boating on canals and rivers to be more sustainable.

Preserving heritage

Britain’s canals and rivers are a unique, living heritage. But that heritage is at risk.

Safeguarding waterways

Hundreds of miles of waterways are currently starved of funding.

Volunteers working on the restoration of the Stover Canal

Restoring waterways

Bringing Britain’s blue infrastructure back to life is good for people and places.