COMMUNITIES affected by the construction of Phase One of HS2 are set to benefit from almost £3 million extra investment in road safety schemes, as part of a £30 million cash boost announced today.
The funding has been awarded to Staffordshire County Council to support road safety and cycle schemes along the Phase One line of route, which runs from London to the West Midlands, including 12 miles through Lichfield to Handsacre.
The county council will now be able to work with local communities to prioritise schemes with the funding, which is expected to be available until 2026.
Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet members with responsibility for HS2, said:
The high-speed rail line will run through 45 miles of Staffordshire in total and from the outset we have been committed to getting the best deal for Staffordshire and our communities in terms of mitigation, compensation, access to faster journeys via the Stafford HS2 hub and a share in the jobs and wider economic benefits.
The HS2 project is likely to be the biggest national transport scheme we will see delivered in our lifetime and the impact of the construction and operation of HS2 will be significant in the coming years, so I am pleased this fund will allow us to invest in schemes which will help keep our roads even safer for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
We will now work with both communities and HS2 Limited to prioritise those schemes in the Phase One area which will bring the biggest safety benefits to local communities.”
HS2 Minister Paul Maynard announced the funding as part of National Road Safety Week and said the investment will allow a legacy of road and cycle safety improvements for people who live and work along the HS2 route between London and the West Midlands.
Once local authorities have agreed plans for projects, they will agree the release of funds with HS2 Ltd. Authorities must ensure that schemes deliver long-term safety benefits.
Phase One of the scheme was given Royal Assent in February 2017. Although the route has been confirmed, details for the timing of works and access for construction traffic have still to be confirmed.