Yes, residents of Mid-Cheshire no longer have the threat of HS2 being driven through our quiet villages with all the threatened work camps, depots and marshalling yards spreading like a virus over the county for years on end during construction, not to mention countless lorries on the few roads that haven’t been closed.
It all seems so long ago (actually 10 years!) that we realised the HS2 project was not just a vague (wiggly) pencil line on an O/S map (more likely a fag packet) but a monstrous, concrete and steel but flawed reality. When we saw exactly where that pencil line was drawn, we thought ‘no, they can’t really mean that!’ but they did!
We wrote in numbers to consultations, lobbied MPs and councillors to try and make the government and HS2 see sense. Our protestations were largely ignored by the authorities who seemed to be closing their eyes to their residents’ letters and calls. Maybe they thought that HS2 was going to happen anyway and took the easy way out, despite there being minimal benefit to their own constituents.
There were one or two exceptional people who did see what we were trying to tell them, but they were too few and characterised as NIMBYs.
We asked the right sort of question about the project, even to the extent of one of our members giving expert evidence to a parliamentary committee.
Anyway- it’s gone!
We are all entitled to celebrate having a major worry lifted off our shoulders. But for some people, lasting damage has been done.
There are those who, after fighting for ten years, will never be the same. There are those who have suddenly been forced to sell up house, business and move out.
But yes, some of us will celebrate the cancellation. We are aware, however, that land to have been required for HS2 remains ‘safeguarded’. Until safeguarding is lifted, the land remains under the protection of HS2 and could in theory be used by the project if it restarts in some form. Probably an unlikely outcome, but we want to see safeguarding ended soon.
So, let’s celebrate in our own way and hope we never again hear of HS2!