Government urged to remove safeguarding zones around axed HS2 near Mansfield and Ashfield

The Government is being urged to remove the current ‘safeguarding zones’ around the now axed eastern leg of HS2.

By Jon Ball
Monday, 7th February 2022, 9:34 am

The Government announced in November it was shelving the planned high-speed railway line between Birmingham and Leeds – although keeping the western leg between Birmingham and Manchester – in favour of improving existing transport links.

Now it is being urged to lift the protections along the planned route.

Mark Fletcher, Bolsover MP, has written to Andrew Stephenson, HS2 minister, to say the current protections along the route are restricting economic development in the area by preventing vital infrastructure projects, such as improvements to Junction 29 of the M1, from going ahead – Mr Fletcher is leading calls to improve the M1 junction at South Normanton, where the A38 between Mansfield, Sutton and Derby meets the motorway.

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Mark Fletcher, Bolsover MP.

He said his constituency was one of the most affected areas with dozens of villages, such as Newton and Blackwell, being devastated by the main HS2 route and spur lines and lifting the safeguarding zones would ‘end the anxieties faced by hundreds of residents living along the route, provide stability to businesses who are looking to invest in the region, and allow plans for Junction 29 to be finalised in full’.

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Stress

He said: “While I very much welcome the decision made by the Government to not bring HS2 as far north as the Bolsover constituency, the decision to keep safeguarding zones in place is causing a great deal of stress to hundreds of residents and is limiting the economic development of our area.

“Plans for Junction 29 of the M1, which suffers from chronic congestion and is simply no longer fit for purpose, cannot be finalised until the safeguarding is lifted.

“I encourage the minister to make a firm decision now and give resident the peace of mind they deserve and allow these important projects to be given the green light.”

Part of the government’s revised transport plans include a commitment to extending the Robin Hood Line, which links Worksop and Nottingham, via Mansfield and Kirkby, to Warsop, Edwinstowe and Ollerton, as well as reopening the Maid Marian Line, providing a link from Kirkby on the Robin Hood Line to the main Nottingham-Sheffield route.

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