Speak up on high speed rail link

An artist's impression of the planned interchange to connect Leigh to the HS2 network and the existing Liverpool to Manchester route
An artist's impression of the planned interchange to connect Leigh to the HS2 network and the existing Liverpool to Manchester route

WIGANERS get to have their say on controversial plans to have super-fast trains running into the borough at a public consultation.

Officers behind the High Speed Two (HS2) plans, which could slash journey times with trains travelling between major British cities at up to 200mph, will hear residents’ views at the Leigh Sports Village.

The proposals show the new track entering the borough via Culcheth before travelling through Lowton, where a large maintenance depot is planned, to meet the current West Coast Mainline at a junction near Bamfurlong.

HS2 will visit the LSV to gauge residents’ opinions as the £80bn infrastructure project faces fierce criticism from campaigners that it is too expensive and possible legal battles from furious residents living along the route.

HS2 Ltd, the company responsible for the plans, is keen to rally public support for the improvements, saying the extra capacity and jobs the line will bring is desperately needed in the North West.

A spokesman said: “This is the biggest infrastructure investment for a generation. It will improve capacity across the network, shorten journey times between Britain’s major population centres, boost the economy and create approximately 400,000 jobs.“

Staff will be on hand at the consultation to answer Wiganers’ questions on matters ranging from engineering and property compensation to noise mitigation and the environmental impact of HS2. A special sound booth will also be set up to offer visitors a recording of how the line will sound on the route near Leigh.

Wigan Council and Leigh MP Andy Burnham are backing proposals from Transport for Leigh, led by Ged Tyrrell, to build an interchange in 
Lowton.

The consultation will be held this Friday from noon until 
8pm.